I don’t enjoy watching sports. My family doesn’t know where I came from. “You were all raised in the same house!” my Mom says. Followed by, “You need to like sports or you’ll end up watching everyone’s kids so they can watch the game.” Luckily I like kids.
In the first years of our marriage, Justin tried everything to get me interested. He would tell me all the players biographies to try to get me emotionally invested, he would draw diagrams to help me understand different plays. I would sit and stare at the game and think, “OK, this time I’m going to focus and pay attention,” but 5 minutes later I would find myself thinking about dinner. Yes, my mind usually wandered to food.
Then our kids started playing, and I realized sports teach them important things that I can’t.
My Josh is competitive. He plays with heart but his head gets in the way. See this post from baseball last year. At the beginning of basketball season, he would get frustrated if his team was losing, or if he wasn’t playing his best. His frustration didn’t propel him forward, it would shut him down. His playing would get worse, and his attitude affected the rest of his team.
After some coaching from Dad, it began to click. “Relax. Have fun. Don’t over analyze everything. If you mess up, figure out what you did and do it better next time.” Things we all need to hear. By the end of the season he was making baskets and grinning. And dancing. Being aggressive. And making free throws. He had become mentally strong.Sports teach by doing. The doing cements the lesson. Now, I get irritated if someone tries to talk to me too much during one of my kids games. Shh. I want to watch them transform.