Lately, I feel like we hear more about the down side of sports than the positive. Injuries are problematic, concussions are even worse. Athletes are accused of crimes and often convicted. There are plenty of scandals to find if you look.
But what I know to be true is that sports saved my son. Sports is the arena that he can excel in, it’s a place where men have stepped in, where his father hasn’t, and have taught him more than the rules of the game. They’ve shown him how to be fathers, coaches, teachers, and good community members. Sports, more than his poor, tired, and unsuccessful mama, have taught him the power of discipline, that hard work pays off most of the time, that winning is the best high, and that sometimes you don’t win but you have to get back up and try again.
I went to visit my son last weekend and watch him win (yay) his Divisional championship. The first game of the championship, my son’s team beat the other team badly. The team was losing by over 10 points. It was clear they were going home but despite that those boys played their hearts out. They ran for every ball, they left nothing on the field. I know they were disapointed when they lined up to shake hands at the end of the day, but all I could think was how proud I was of these boys I didn’t even know. What a great lesson they’d learned and that I knew their were wins in their future. And then I was proud for my son’s team – who worked hard all season, woke up for 6 AM work outs, missed out on alot of college fun, and then they won.
Not all kids thrive in sports – some love chess or spelling bees or coding. But let me beg you to let them try.