At the end of the journey, parents of athletes end up with a lot of memories, a lot of regrets, a lot of thoughts. One minute you are teaching a kid who cannot even pour a glass of milk how to hit a ball off a tee, and the next you are packing up trophies and watching them fly off into something that resembles adult-hood.
What if, instead of waiting until it’s over, we asked ourselves – or gave some thought to the hard questions now. Would it change your journey? Would it help? Would it change anything you do now? Would it change the outcome? Would it change the relationships in your family?
So, today. What if?
What if we didn’t yell things (meant to be encouraging, but clearly annoying) from the stands like “Hit the top half of the ball, weight back, keep your eye on it, WHY did you swing at that, look for the change-up, MAKE CONTACT, blah blah? Would they hit the ball anyways, know what to do in the box, be successful? If we just for a few moments, while our kids were up to bat, let go of the false feeling that we have some control over the situation when our child is battling for their life – would they succeed anyways? Would they know what to do? Because at the end of the day, that’s what parenting is all about – letting them go with the comfort that they know WHAT TO DO…..
What if instead of making excuses FOR them, or allowing them to make excuses we just listened and reminded them that they ALWAYS upon ALWAYS have the opportunity to WORK HARDER than everyone else to get what they want?
What if instead of blaming coaches, or teachers, or teammates, or other parents for their shortcomings – we truly ALLOWED them to own their mistakes and imperfections SO THEY COULD ALSO OWN improving them?
What if instead of feeling intimidated, threatened, hurt or angry that someone is BETTER than our child, we taught them to surround themselves with people that ARE BETTER and who can teach and push our children to be the best version of themselves?
What if, we simply said, “I love to watch you play” after each and every game, and LISTENED to what THEY had to say instead of trying to TELL THEM what they need to do better.
What if, we always kept in mind that this is a G A M E, being played by K I D S. A GAME. Yes, its an expensive game. Yes, we invest a lot in this game, time and money. But at the end of the day it is STILL JUST A GAME, meant to be enjoyed and PLAYED, and with every game when it’s over there will one winner and one loser, and ONE GAME doesn’t define our player or the team….
What if, we made sure our kids ALWAYS knew first and foremost that the outcome of a game, or the results of their performance NEVER EVER affects our love for them or how proud of them we are.
What if, we always abide by the 24 Hour Rule when we are angry about an outcome? Would our approach or words change? Would we have less to feel guilty about later? Would less relationships be harmed?
What if we always remembered that COACHES are human, too?
What if we NEVER reminded our kids how much money we are spending, making them feel guilty?
What if, instead of spending our time in the FUTURE when our kids are young, we spent time in the NOW and allowed them the room to truly choose their path as they go, rather than push them toward the roads we think they should take?
What if, we made a conscious effort to ALWAYS sit back and just ENJOY this season, these people, these kids, invested in their joy, progress, growth, and success rather becoming so heavily invested in THEIR GAME?