The Losing Season
This winter my daughter ventured out of her comfort zone and into the youth sports arena for the first time. She decided to play basketball after her best friend lovingly convinced her it would be fun. While there have been a few fun moments, there has also been a lot of frustration and hard lessons to learn.
Her team is made up of 4th and 5th-grade girls who have never played competitive basketball before. While they are all eager to learn, most of their opponents have been seasoned basketball stars since Kindergarten. This makes for some very uneven match-ups, but that is life.
I have found we have had deep, heartfelt conversations on the car rides home from games. A big scowl on her face, after a hard game, telling me she doesn’t want to play anymore. I have told her she has to finish out the season and then never has to play again, that is her choice. But I also feel like the lessons after losing any game are valuable ones for young children. No one can win every game. I highlight that even professional athletes have losing seasons. There will always be a losing team and that is where determination, resilience, and real grit are born.
I see week after week her team improving in all areas of the sport and that is important to acknowledge and celebrate as well. How our children handle loss or rejection is an important lifelong skill. I am glad she is learning that, even if it does hurt my mama heart.
It’s normal to feel a range of emotions after losing, it is how we channel those emotions moving forward and persevere. So for now we continue to work hard, practice, and just keep going.
Because win or lose it is just a game and a lot of growth is happening both on and off the court.