Posted by: sistermom1 | March 4, 2011

Winning and Losing

Our daughter’s basketball season ended this week.  She is a bit of a “baller” — she plays very well and is a smart player with guy teams and strong girl teams.  Consequently, she plays on one of each. 

This season we all learned more about the extremes of winning and losing.  Our daughter has been on a co-ed team for the past three years — one that has truly grown together.  The coach is a man who makes sure that everyone on the team gets the chance to play, grow and improve.  He is a wonderfully supportive leader, who works well with the entire team (and all of the parents, which can be the most challenging part of coaching a team of children).  Keeping everyone’s ego in check (parents mostly!), making sure that everyone learns something about the game (even those kids who are weaker players) and that everyone improves every season is a great skill that not many coaches have.  We feel so lucky to have been involved with such a great team over the past few years.

The other team our daughter plays on is full of first-time girl players, most of whom are in the 5th and 6th grades, so most have not yet hit their collective growth spurt.  This is a religious school where the importance of respect for others is a real hallmark.  As a result, balancing aggressive play with good sportmanship is challenging for most of the players.  Our daughter is one of a few leaders on this team, amd she enjoys that role, much as she enjoys the other, more advanced team.

Well, the co-ed team went undefeated through the entire season and won their championship game.  A wonderful ending to a great season — they set a goal of being undefeated and accomplished it in grand style.  A great outcome.  Her school team ended the season with the opposite record — losing every game, but improving their performance and scoring more points with each game.  Our daughter even told me that when she scored in one game, a player on the other team encouraged her by saying it was a great shot.  A positive example of great sportsmanship.  She enjoyed this team, and had a positive relationship with this first-time coach as well.

Winning and losing — the difference between the two can be huge, or very slight.  In basketball, and in life, you can win and still lose.  Even when the score indicates that you’ve won, with negative attitudes and poor sportsmanship, it still can count as a loss on the more meaningful playing field of life.  With my current health challenges, I too am learning about what can be the ever-so-slightest difference between winning and losing every day.  I am reminded how crucial attitude really is — especially when facing difficult realities from moment to moment. 

I dealt with this distinction all morning today.  Another morning facing the devils of self-doubt, impatience, and ingratitude.  I struggled to keep my focus on appreciation, confidence and patience with myself.  My legs were not responding quickly enough, I could not get comfortable in the shower, and it was difficult even getting dressed today.  Although I have not gotten used to it, some days are just this way.  Relaxing and going with it despite the gaping hole between what is and what I want is not always (ever?) easy, but I have re-determined to do it successfully this and every morning.

I’d say “Wish me luck”, but this is so beyond wishing.  To quote Star Trek: The Next Generation, I am determined to “Make it so!”

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