Sunday, June 4, 2017

Participation This...

It was a gorgeous Saturday morning and all I wanted to do was hop in my car to get to my daugther's softball tourney three hours down the road. But the hubby and I happened to have another kid that is our caboose and only four years old. We've done our best to juggle so that she doesn't miss her favorite hour of every week- soccer. I mean- I guess you can call it soccer- There is a ball and a couple nets but I'm not sure "soccer" is ever really played eventhough it's the cutest thing ever. This was our last session of the season and being the procrastinator I am, I had signed up for snack on the and had to hand it out... and then I spied the coach giving out medals to every kid. Shoot me- it was the one day this Mama wanted to peace out fast.

I didn't. And I'm so glad I stayed and got that medal. It hasn't been taken off since and our little caboose seriously must have told every stranger from here to Richmond about her medal. And yes, it's that cute every time. It started having me question the whole "participation medal" debate all weekend. And I get it-she's four, so who cares, but whatever.

We live in a world where youth sports are crazy town. And yep, I'm that mom that is ultra competitive. We get it, some think we are the crazy ones- practices all the time, private lessons, hotels for ten year old tourneys that really don't mean a thing.  My own family lets me know it. And if you've been a fly on the wall, you may have heard my hubby and I ranting that this whole participation trophy thing is crap.

Ya see, we live in a Ricky Bobby world- where "If you ain't first, you're last." Errybody's chasing that next title and wanting to be the best. NFL athletes are yanking ribbons from their kids and saying expectations need to be higher. Recently even my boy Bryce- and I do love ya Bryce- said, "Oh, it’s OK you guys lost,’ but no, Johnny, no. No participation trophies, OK? First place only.”

Fast forward to why I'm blabbing away on my soap box... Today, that same older daughter that I was rushing off to see this weekend played her butt off with her team. They came up short and took second place in their tournament. And guess what happened. None of us- except the team mom that takes pictures (Thank goodness for her) rushed the field with our iPhones and gadgets to capture this moment. Instead, we stood on the side in moods kind of like, "What the hell was that?"  "Our team is so much better than that." Our expectations certainly aren't to go out and beat ourselves by making errors and not hitting the ball. We train for this and gave up a weekend to see that just go down.

And that, that right there is what is wrong with youth sports. The problem isn't giving second place trophies and rewarding those that aren't the best. Look at these girls- they worked hard for this- and those beautiful, proud smiles are begging for cameras.

From here on out, I promise that I will be on that field clicking away. I will be proud if you finish 1st or 21st. You girls rock. Don't ever stop aiming for the top baby girl, and don't ever, ever hang that head. You taught me something today- That maybe those right there on the field in front of us matter more than anyone's opinion. Second is super, and you, my Glory girls, are simply badass.

-Signed, one proud Mama

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