Some of you may recognize these words as the lyrics from the Broadway musical about the Yankees, but this blog will be devoted to a weekend hockey experience that my 10 year old son just completed.
First, let me say that my son lives, breathes and eats hockey!
Perhaps you have a child engulfed with similar passion in their activity of choice. I use the word choice because hockey really is his choice. To be honest, I’m still learning the difference between icing and off-sides!
This past weekend he had the opportunity to play in an international tournament with 128 teams from the U.S. and Canada…maybe your son or daughter was there, too. He traveled over 1000 miles to participate and bursting with enthusiasm he took the ice for his first game of the weekend against a team from Minnesota. My son’s team lost….14-0 with several injuries taken by his teammates. It was a fair game…they were just plain out-played.
When I talked to him on the phone that night, I was prepared with a bunch of cliche responses about it’s not who wins or loses…etc. To my delight and pride, I didn’t need to say a word. Although he was disappointed, he sagely said, “They were a great team and I just have to play harder tomorrow.”
He then delved into description of various techniques and skills that needed improvement with quite vivid details…all a bit over my head since I’ve never even donned a pair of skates. The rest of the weekend went fairly well…they were 2 and 2 after that…only losing the games by one or two goals.
He returned with his odorous bag and an official-looking medal around his neck, but more importantly he returned a better player and a better person. He triumphantly declared, “It was the best weekend of my life!”
It was a remarkable reminder to me about how important it is for our kids to lose and fail. Sometimes as parents, we just want to make everything fun and fix it. But that’s not real. From going down hard…this time literally…my son learned to pick himself up, brush himself off and try again.
This experience will make him a better player. It forced him to dig deep and play with heart. And in the end, all you really need is heart! Tell me about your young player with heart…I’d love to hear from you!