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Type A’s New Leaf

I am a competitive person by nature, I often have to reel it in.  If you ever sat by me at my children’s sporting events, you 
know this to be true. I keep the score book not just because I’m a nice parent volunteer but because I want to make sure the game is accurately reported.  The Type A personality can be controlling and a nice parent volunteer at the same time. 

Lately I have been trying to see beyond the points/runs scored, softballs hit, baskets made. I have been studying the actions of the kiddos peforming.  My change in attitude is mostly due to my relization that I can yell “advice” from the stands all I want, it probably won’t change the outcome of the game.  It might have a little (or a lot) to do with the fact that my kids have asked me to stop coaching from the side and the small fact that at some games my sweet Dad is the only one who will sit next to me. #unconditionallove  

Here are a few observations that I have noticed

  • Kids are kind to each other.  I observed a 10-13 year old basketball game that was very rough and aggressive.  Those girls were giving it there all. However, when a girl was tripped accidentally or pushed down without intent, the opposing team member helped her up and asked if she was okay.  In one instance, a girl stole the ball, the opposing team member tripped and the stealer of the ball stopped to see if she was okay. This cost her a breakaway play that could have led to points scored.
  • Kids support one another. Today I sat in freezing weather (well, it was 45 degrees with a lot of wind), along with other parents watching our daughters try-out for softball.  Everyone will make a team but it is still a competitive situation where girls are vying for who will be drafted higher. These girls were laughing together, shagging overthrown balls for each other and encouraging each other throughout the assessments.  
  • Kids celebrate small victories. If you have never watched a 6-7 year old boy’s basketball game,  you are missing out.  These boys celebrate EVERYTHING. Someone made a basket=dab, high five, hug your mom on the sideline and cheer loudly. Two points scored, even when they are down 20-8, they celebrate.  It is contagious. 

These same behaviors bleed into the school environment too.  I see students celebrating when their peers reach an accomplishment.  Imagine a whole cafeteria of your peers clapping and applauding when the principal calls your name to receive a badge for being a leader. I’ve witnessed students with challenging behavior hug, encourage and love on students who are sad, sick or have overcome their own behavior challenges.  I have students who bring a 75 to weekly brag time because that is 15 points higher than their last attempt and progress is progress.  

We as adults should take note of this and apply it to our lives.  Healthy competition is not a bad thing but adding kindness and encouragement takes you a lot farther in life.  Small progress is still progress, don’t give up.  Have fun and lighten up!

{Disclaimer: I am working on my new approach to not coaching from the side.  Feel free to call me out if you see me doing the opposite at my kids sporting events. I am a work in progress.}

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