High school basketball season just wound-down, and I extend sincere congratulations to Peetz and Yuma for their successes. But, many teams we support did not win.
I remember when my kids played sports, and I was ecstatic when they won because they felt on top of their world. The celebrations and reliving the victorious plays in the game were glorious. Family life was sweet after they won.
They also suffered significant disappointments when the other team won. I could not console them no matter what I said, and family life was quiet and sad. They felt all the emotions no parent would want their child to feel.
I know kids and families love sports, and I know they help tremendously in the development of control, discipline, and working as a team. But, when a kid, teammates, school, family, and community make it all the way to the state games and lose, I worry about the pressure placed on the kids. I’m concerned that they carry the weight of everyone’s distress, and that is a massive load for someone who likely hasn’t reached his/her 18th birthday.
When the Broncos don’t win, they are responsible for ruining Sundays across Colorado, but they are adults, get paid a lot of money, and will get another chance next week or next year. In high school, freshmen, sophomores, and juniors might get another chance, but seniors graduate and might never play another basketball game. You can bet, win or lose; those big games will be remembered with details and emotions at class reunions for years and years.
My heart went out to the high school students who played their hearts out in the big state games and didn’t come home with the top trophy. Mom, Dad, grandparents, and teachers, pay attention to your player’s general mood. They are just young girls and boys and do not necessarily have the skills needed to place the game in perspective. Talk to them a little more, notice any unusual changes in behavior, and thank them for the exciting entertainment they provided throughout the long winter months.
Make sure they know how proud you are of their efforts, their sportsmanship, and their many wins that allowed you to have a super great time at the state tournament.
Congratulations to each team and every player!
Until the next time: Live while you live.
Jennifer Goble, Ph.D., LPC, is the author of “My Clients…My Teachers,” and the blogger and writer of Rural Women Stories: www.ruralwomenstories.com.
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