There are many reasons to play sports. They’re an excellent way to get exercise. You know. Without actually feeling like you’re exercising. They’re fun. Maybe you have hopes of watching your kids play some sport in high school or college. All good reasons to play.
But I witnessed one of the most important benefits of sports as I watched Porsha play softball this season. Her team was pretty good. And that’s fun. It’s fun to be good at something. It’s fun to win. It’s fun to be the best. But that’s not what I’m talking about.
I’m talking about what happened when one error led to another error which led to another error which led to an in the park grand slam for the other team. When they came in to the dugout Porsha was carrying all of that on her shoulders. Not because it was all her fault. She was one of the errors though and she felt responsible.
First, the coaches encouraged her. “It’s alright Porsha.” “Head up Porsha.” That’s their job though, right? They have to say that.
But as she walked farther into the dugout those girls lifted her up. They pointed out the good things she did and reminded her that it wasn’t all her fault. They hugged her as she fought back tears. They encouraged her until she cracked a smile and kept at it until she was laughing again.
Putting your kids in sports isn’t about winning or losing or playing sports in high school or college. It’s about learning to move forward after your mistakes. It’s about going up to bat with confidence after a major error. And pushing your teammates to be better, not just at sports, but to be a better person. That’s what makes all those hours of practice and juggling schedules and watching games in 100 degree heat worth it.