Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Slice of Life - Lessons from Sports

Slice of Life is sponsored on Tuesdays by Two Writing Teachers.

This weekend was filled with basketball. Liam had two games, Luke had four. We had hours of driving to tiny towns to watch them play, sitting for warm-ups, watching games between their games, and driving home.

Sports are funny. I was not at all an athlete as a kid. I preferred swimming, running, golfing – anything that I could do on my own. I didn’t like the feeling of letting my team down. Too much pressure.

Both of my boys are more on the quiet side, but both enjoy team sports. I have been fascinated to watch them in the various teams over the past few years.  Both have gone from being timid to more aggressive. Both have what I consider to be one of the most important qualities, good sportsmanship. One is developing leadership qualities, the other one might in the future.

Driving home from a tiny town with one of my boys, he commented on the players from the team that had beat them. He said, “I liked playing those kids. They were nice.”

I smiled, glanced over, and said, “Even if they won?”

“Yes, they were good sports. And the refs were good too.”

That made me smile even more. I’ve been around sports enough to see kids who think they are better than others, who are unkind, who blame the loss on the referees.

I’m so grateful my kids don’t appear to participate in those behaviors.

Sports have so many lessons for our children, and many for parents as well. As I cheered on my boys, I cheered on some of the other team too. Beautiful shots, kindness displayed on the court, hard work. It all deserves applause.

Watching them run across the court, my heart filled with gratitude. These boys are growing right before my eyes. I really don’t care what kind of athlete they are. I don’t even care if they win or lose. I do care what kind of person they are, and what type of person they become. Right now they are people I enjoy being around. I love talking to them. So I glanced to my right, squinting in the dark, and said, “Tell me more about the game.”