Why Parent Drove 5 Hours for 24 Minutes of Play

December 13, 2010 at 9:01 am | Posted in Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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SO yesterday was one of those days as a sport parent that really was awful.  I had to drive from my house in pouring snow or snowing rain for THREE HOURS!!! To end up being late for my ten year old daughter’s ice hockey game.  She played two out of three periods.  Then I had to drive back in plain old pouring rain, only two hours this time.  And my daughter’s team lost- again.  By just one point.  Heart breaker for sure.

But the thing is, I was so into getting her there and so was she.  She got herself completely dressed- including skates tied up- while staying in her seatbelt as we drove.  No small feat when we’re talking hockey equipment!  And a dad ran out in the pouring rain to carry her in so she could get in the game ASAP!

Did she ever play her heart out!  The whole team was doing the same! We had two kids who had been sick all week- the goalie being one of them.  But they put aside all of that, gathered their soul energy and dug just a little deeper to really be their best.

We had back-to-back games Saturday and Sunday with the two toughest teams in the league.  And we haven’t been a very hot team this year.  But these two games every player moved up, grabbed at their highest levels of play and it really showed.

Both games were very similar- We held them off for the first period. Second period there was some scoring by both teams.  And third period the other team got the winning goal.

So do you wonder why I spent my day racing around in horrible driving conditions? It’s really simple.  When I see my kids and their friends put that “WOW POWER” into what they do I know it’s a good thing.

There is something that is intrinsically and deeply wonderful for kids to have the chance to get totally into a sport.  There is the integration of the physical and cognitive for sure-  That means body and brain working together.

And while that is all good, there is something deeper. This gets to the kids real deep soul/spirit.  When your kids have the chance to go to their deepest and best, they know they are truly valuable.  There is no question about them feeling good about their efforts, their energy, themselves.  They know.

This team came off that ice thrilled with themselves.  Of course they were disappointed to have lost once again, but they knew they had played their own personal best.  And I think they were able to actually understand what they as a team and what they as individuals had done to play so well and to know their mistakes.  They held their own and weren’t slaughtered.

How has being captain affected my 10-year-old daughter?

December 12, 2010 at 8:21 am | Posted in Self Esteem | Leave a comment
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How has being captain affected my 10-year-old daughter?

When my daughter was first named captain she took it very seriously.  It was a real privilege and honor.  I have a saying,

“With every privilege comes responsibility” and she took the responsibility part to heart.

She spent her time at practice and especially games focused on her responsibility as captain.  She felt she needed to be on top of the other players.  Making sure they were congratulated for their well-played moments, boosted up when they made a mistake, and kept in line when they wanted to whine and complain.

BUT

That meant she was not focusing on being her own personal best. She was just a bit slower, just a bit less dynamic.  And her personal enthusiasm was thwarted.

So we talked.  I asked her-

  • Why she thought she had been picked captain?
  • Did she like what she was doing as captain?
  • Were there things she liked about being captain?
  • Were there things she could improve on as captain?

Her answers were great.

I was picked captain because I am totally enthusiastic and completely involved with every game from the moment in the locker room, long before going on ice, till we’re changed up and leaving the locker room.  I really listen to the coaches; follow through with what they wanted me to do.  I’m always one of the first to high-five and head smash any other player who does anything good.  I’m really good at getting the kids who goof off or whine back on track.  So that’s why they picked me for captain.”

The next question was not quite as neatly answered.

“Well its complicated.  I don’t really want to talk about it.”

This was an easy lead into the next question- “Were there things she liked about being captain?”

“Well I really liked being captain stuff before I was really captain.  But now I have this sort of job.  I feel like I am losing my game.  And I don’t really know why.”

Rather than jump right into what I though she could do to improve I asked her, “Were there things she could improve on as captain?”

“Well, I guess.  I think if I go back to focusing on me being my personal best then I will be back to being what they (the coaches) chose me for captain in the first place.  And I think going up to the refs and shaking their hands puts me off.  Actually I kind of think when I do my own personal best I really enthuse everyone with my totally in the game spirit.  I guess what I really should do is be myself and that will take care of being the captain.”

This was on the way to yesterday’s game.  When she got to the locker room she was just a bit silly, just enough to be energized.  She took to the ice with total focus.  Her warm-ups were done with precision.  And the game was one heck of a game!  They lost, but they went to the game prepared to play the hardest team and get slaughtered.  Instead they held court the first period with no scoring on either side.

Second period had scoring on both sides- a tie!

The other team pulled it off in the last two minutes to win 5-3.

On our ride home my daughter was completely pleased with how the game went, with her being captain.  And ready for today’s game.

Here’s my tidbit of advice- ASK questions.  Let them come up with answers.  If they grunt, say one or two words ask you’re your question differently.

The point is for your daughter to get to know herself.  What she does well, what she can improve on.  What is above her for the time being.  This brings her to have high self-esteem.

How Girls Still Hold Back In Sports?

December 3, 2010 at 3:08 pm | Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment
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From the Women’s Sports Foundation- It’s not very often that you see boys storming the court in celebration of a girl’s basketball win. Watch what happens when an amazing buzzer-beater shot is made and the age-old boys’ sports versus girls’ sports argument is quickly forgotten. We are loving this! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q5GFkdTFz0M

One of the things that gets me is that there is still plenty who think boys sports are more interesting, dynamic, action oriented than girls sports. What do you think?

I spend tons of time watching girls’ sports. And tons of time watching coed sports, but not all that much time watching all boy sports. And here’s the thing. I really find the excitement and level of action in the all girls’ sports to be equal to what happens with the coed sports.

I don’ t know about you, but when I watch my daughters’ teams I am very involved. I get very excited. And I know there is plenty of action. The girls’ teams are aggressive, excited, and ready to play with all their might. They play to win. Have you ever seen a girl’s team head out to have a “goody two shoes” time? And really and truly not care I f they win or loose? I haven’t.

I think one real difference is the attitude of our society. We have these underlying ideas and thoughts that girl’s sports are more subdued. That girls just are really less aggressive than boys. That girls aren’t strong enough to make it interesting.

Well- I’ll tell you one thing for sure. That is totally full of crap. Out of all my daughters, their friends (both boys and girls), I have never seen the girls sit back and let the game happen around them. They are totally involved. And the girls are doing just amazing things to be strong. Have you been to training for girls or coed teams lately? All I can say is that it’s about equal or maybe even tilted to the girl’s side for fitness training. These girls are STRONG nowadays.

But what about aggression? Where do the girls stand with aggression? I have to say that I see the girls hold back here. And no wonder. I’ve worked with kids (boys and girls) from two up and their parents on all kids of behavioral and life situations. – Remember I was an ordinary pre-school teacher, so it’s not about kids with issues.

It’s important that you heard (read) me say that I think girls hold back with aggression. Here’s the thing, from the time girls are two they are taught by just about every socializing environment that exists to hold back aggressively. Yet boys are expected, permitted, encouraged to be aggressive.

Aggressive is not only about hurting or punching someone else. It’s also used to characterize someone who exhibits determination, energy, and initiative. (Encarta World English Dictionary) Unfortunately, this second part of being aggressive gets held back in girls, as well as holding back the readiness and tendency to attack or do harm to others.

You know- Girls don’t do that.

I have seen hundreds of boys be aggressive in the do harm to others way. They do get reprimanded, but there is still this belief that their behavior is just what boys do- and eventually they will grow out of it.

But when a girl has that kind of aggressive action people respond completely differently. It’s a fit. It’s horrible. It’s absolutely not accepted. I know when Jilly attacked her sister -in public no less- two weeks ago, everyone was horrified. They really couldn’t decide how to react. I asked myself, “If this were two boys what would anyone do?”

Well there would be some reprimanding, but not too much. It would just be shrugged off. And of course everyone would have thought that Jamie deserved it anyway. It’s brothers fighting the way brothers fight.

But the problem is that since there are two kinds of aggression they are linked. And by holding the girls back I one form of aggression they are held back in the other.

I’m not advocating to set girls up to be attacking and aggressive. I’m thinking maybe girls need to be expected to be attacking aggressive the same as boys.

I know its way off for me, cause I really hate attacking aggressive, but maybe if we equaled out that part of bringing up boys and girls then when they lived their lives the girls would have the same aggressive determination, energy and initiative as boys in sports.

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