Didn’t Make It Kid.

Didn’t Make It Kid.

This winter brought some time to cross-train on a sport my oldest hasn’t played in quite a few years. When he did play, it was super simple and required less-than-average athletic abilities. At 10 years old, that’s not the case now. Basketball has been in full swing for a few weeks and his agility, understanding, shot and passing all have improved twofold from day one.  He’s my kid, so obviously I’m proud but if everyone else was honest too, there isn’t a kid on the court that plays more aggressively than him. Maybe there are a couple that play just as aggressive, but he won’t be out-hustled nor will another kid compete harder. I’ve always joked he’d tried to “out breathe you” if he could. So after a hard-fought win a week or so ago, he asked “when do all-stars start?” My response was as loving yet clear as I could be. “In a few weeks, I’m sure, but you didn’t make it kid.” His eyes got puffy and although a tear never fell, his gut was punched. “What do you mean I didn’t make it?” “I tried so hard.” “My dad is the coach.” Hear me when I say this reader, athletes, the truest ones are fertilized and watered in these moments. Simply put, real athletes get better from not making it. It’s ok for them to recognize players that are better than them and to accept that the hardest hustle doesn’t always equal “the best player.” Best hustler, yes, but player, no, at least not always. We finished the hard conversation on the facts. There were better players on the team that earned the all-stars position this year. His dad coaching his team wasn’t and never will be a reason for him to make a team that is based on being earned.  Trying your hardest during a game or a scheduled practice doesn’t make you the best player on the team. Skill matters and he just didn’t have the skills this year. He asked one last time “If I practice harder between now and all-stars is there still a chance I can make it?” Although the answer was “not for this year’s team” of course, he accepted it. Since that conversation, he has spent two-three hours some before eight a.m. and some of those hours spent in the pouring rain shooting basketball. Failure isn’t always the result of not trying, sometimes it’s part of the process of succeeding. Let your kids try hard and fail because really their just getting better. Keep getting better-Coach Mama


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