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.

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Mom’s Job When Kid Is Named Captain

November 30, 2010 at 2:36 pm | Posted in moms, Moms of talented teens, peer pressure, Self Esteem, sports | 2 Comments
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She’s the captain of her ice hockey team at ten!  What an honor and accomplishment.  She called all her relatives as soon as she found out.

What about me, her mom?  How do I react to this?  What is my responsibility?  What do I do about her sisters?  None of them were ever captains in any sport.

Of course there’s a bit of history here.  Jilly was invited to play up for the peewee team, not based on skills but more because the team needed a few more players.  I told the coaches of both teams I would decide which team based soley on what I thought was most important for my child.   I would not, under any circumstances, put my daughter on a team just to make it happen.

Of course Jilly was all swaggery when she got the news. She was oh so cool!  She was going to play up.   But the moment I had her alone in the car the first thing I said was, “I alone will make thie decision based on what is best for you.  I’ll listen to your ideas, but you will not make the decision.  I think at ten you’re too young to figure this all out.”

Since we already have a great relationship based on trust and respect she knew I was going to do what was best for her, not what was seem by others as cool or being above others. Cause what they think just doesn’t matter!

It was clear to me that giving Jilly another year as a squirt would give her more time to get basic skills, she loved working with the coaches of squirts, and she could really use a year as being one of the best.  Even if she didn’t have all her sisters with all their accomplishments, it’s so important to have a time when you are the best.  When the others look up to you. When you can help out and be a leader.

So squirts it was.  Until I heard from Jilly that they, the kids, would be picking captains the next week.  Then my head reeled. I’d been through this too many times.  Captains at ten chosen by teammates has had more negative effect than no captains.  My personal opinion is to have captains for each week.  They lead the warm ups for practices and game, shake hands with the refs, lead the pregame cheer, and lead the hand slap at the end of the game.  It’s a learning experience for each kid.

But to be captain for the season- now that’s a true honor and responsibility.  One not to be given hastily or lightly. One that most nine and ten year olds just don’t have the capacity to truly understand.  If there are going to be captains, the coaches need to be very able to choose based on the true value of the player, with complete open minds.

I talked with the coaches.  Explained my personal concern about kids choosing their captains.  And then dropped the bomb. I told the coaches that I couldn’t let Jilly participate if the captains were chosen by the teammates.  They nodded, said, “Hmmm, hadn’t really thought about that.”  Then I never mentioned captains again to the coaches or Jilly.

This past weekend was the third weekend of games.  I could tell the moment I saw the team come out of the locker room that Jilly had been chosen captain.  She had this look of control and determination on her face. She was in charge and going to make it happen!

I was certain when she and another player went over to the refs and shook hands.  And guess what – me who opposed captains- had a SURGE of pride.  That was my little girl who was captain.  And I truly believe she deserved to be chosen captain.

So what is my responsibility?  Isn’t that what I’m supposed to be writing about?  Well my responsibility is to help Jilly understand the honor and responsibility of being chosen captain.  That being captain is partly about being a great player, but more importantly about being a leader. About the team moral and focus.  It’s about good sportsmanship, paying attention to the coaches, guiding the other kids to do their best. When the game is tough and they are loosing it’s about keeping the spirit up and still trying their hardest.

Being captain doesn’t mean to fake energy or excitement.  It doesn’t mean to suck up to the coaches.  It means to have pride, respect, and leadership.  Being a skilled player helps, but it’s not what a captain is all about.  Even Mia Hamm or Kristine Lilly weren’t the captains of the US soccer team.

Girl the Boys that come in your path

November 1, 2009 at 12:33 pm | Posted in 1 | Leave a comment
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Just a quick update about Jilly’s coed hockey team-(Jilly is Grace’s 9 yo daughter, Jamie and Jeanee’s little sister).  The team is coed.  A girl scored the first goal.  There was no time division between how much the girls played as compared to the boys.  And most importantly there was NO difference between the aggressive spirit or the skills level of the boys or girls.

When I was a girl most of this would have been really Bizarre.  There were few if any girls who even played ice hockey.  And those that did had a real tough time of it.  They had to be way tough, take constant attack and abuse-from their own team members and their parents.  Some leagues refused to allow the girls to play at all.  Some refs decided AT THE GAMES that they would not allow the girls to play.  To have a coed team be the norm is fantastic!

The attitude of girls has changed immensely as well.  The fact that the girl who got the first goal knew what she could do and acted upon her ability and chance for a goal without holding anything back was thrilling to see.  There are still some girls, when put in a coed situation, who hold back for some unfortunate fear of upsetting boys.

The time playing is extremely important.  When a player is excellent yet made to sit on the bench due to being a girl you can be sure it has a negative effect on her.  To have a team that regards the girls as having as much skill, ability, and experience as the boys allows the girls to be at their best.  There is no need to feel anxious or worried that “as a girl I some how don’t make the mark.”

Out on the ice, when they were in their uniforms, pads and helmets, it was impossible to tell which were boys and which were girls.  Again in the past, the girls had a body language that made them stand apart from the boys.  This has disappeared.  The girls have the same energy and stance as any boy out there- some with more of the athletic stance than the boys.

You go girls!  And girl all the boys that come in your path!

 

This is blog post in http://TigressTeens.ning.com

If you are a teen girl athlete you should check this out

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