Being chosen to be a part of a team is always exciting. When you become a part of a team because they weren’t able to cut anyone doesn’t make it any less important.
My daughter tried out for her first school sport recently. I was a total wreck that entire day. She’s been talking about trying out for the team since day one of the school year.
She’s played soccer since she was about 4 for our local recreational leagues. As you know though, school and select teams are in a whole different realm.
I knew she would give it her all. I also knew there was a chance she wouldn’t make the team. I was prepared. If she made it we would be extremely proud. If she didn’t make it we would STILL be extremely proud. It takes a lot of guts to put yourself out there. We also looked at this as a learning experience.
We had discussions prior to tryout about how IF she didn’t make it that we would just work harder for next year. We wanted to make sure she was as prepared as possible.
Well, she made the team! We were ecstatic! She wasn’t as excited as I was hoping. She explained that everyone who tried out made it. There were no cuts. She felt like she didn’t earn her spot.
Why did she even try out whenever EVERYONE who showed up was on the team now?!
I had to let her feel those feelings. I let her be upset. I also had to explain that even though everyone made the team, it doesn’t mean everyone will get playing time. You have to earn the time on the field. You have to go to each and every practice with a positive attitude, give it your all, and prove yourself.
After a little while of wallowing in her self-pity, she picked herself up and told me “I guess I can be excited for myself.” Hell yes, you can! You went out there and put yourself out in front of your peers. I know for a fact there are kids that didn’t try out because they were scared to do just that!
It doesn’t matter if you make the team because you are one of the best or by default. You are a part of THAT TEAM. You have to support each and every person.
Since practices have begun she has come home every day excited to tell me about every aspect of practice. The coach has even given her shout-outs for her hard work ethic and ability to explain to others what they should be doing during the game.
Although it may not come about the way she had hoped I see this first season as being one where she learns more than she expected.
Have your children ever felt as if they didn’t earn their spots on the team?