Monthly Archives: November 2013

Scaling That Wall!

A quick follow-up to yesterday’s post. Another great life lesson learned today – sounds pithy but so very true: Winning isn’t everything.

Today my son was back in net against one of the top teams in our division. The last time they played this team, they lost 12-1 (of course, that game was the first game ever for his team and many kids didn’t even know each other’s names). Today, the score was a bit closer, although my son’s team still ended up on the losing side 5-1.

However, my son had a fantastic game where he made a ton of key saves and was aggressive and as in their face as he possibly could be. He left that game with a huge smile on his face and that smile is still there, hours later. Yes, they lost. Yes, he got scored on a bunch of times. But he played his heart out and knows that he did his absolute best so instead of feeling badly about he loss, he feels on top of the world.

Winning really isn’t everything – knowing that you gave your all and did your best matters so much more.

Being the goalie sure can be fun!

Hitting the Wall

 

Bam! As I feared, my boy hit that wall head first a few weeks ago.

Hitting the wall: Abstract 5/365

Just a tip: You don’t bounce off of brick.

It was not pretty.

The long and the short of it – he was in net for two games in a row and while the first game was a better fought battle that ended in a loss, the second game was a big, fat, hot mess. A team that had scored only 8 goals in their past 3 games got 10 in our net in a mere 45 minutes. All I can say is “ouch!”

Watching my boy out on the ice was tough. He started to lose it out there. His head was down, he was sitting on his pads when the play was at the other end, and, at one point, after yet another back door goal, he bent forward and just let his stick slip out of his hand onto the ice. He was utterly defeated. If that wasn’t bad enough, my son, who has maybe gotten slightly teary for a second after a game once or twice in his career, curled up in the fetal position and sobbed on the way home from that game.

Heart. Wrenching.

Now that both he and I have recovered from that weekend, I can think more clearly about it. We asked for some advice from his coaches on what to say to him and the overwhelming response was “have a short memory.” There are no great words of wisdom to share when someone has just had their butt handed to them. The main thing his dad and I stressed was that, no matter how difficult it was, he had to be the bigger player out there. He couldn’t let his team, his coach, or the other team see how defeated he was. He had to keep his head up and be ready for the next shot, and try to stop the 30th shot just as he had the first.

Yes, I know. A very tall order for anyone, especially an 11 year-old boy.

But, as his goalie coach said, imagine you have a job where, whenever you make a mistake, a big red light goes off and a horn sounds and people start cheering. That’s what happens to goalies and if they let it get to them, they are not going to last too long in that crease.

On the bright side, he was back in the net the next week, without complaint or hesitation. I was really worried about what another loss would do to him, but he was back to his old self. Yes, they did lose again. They lose a lot. But this time he kept his head up and stayed on his feet and worked hard to stop that puck. I love his resilience.

And that is probably the biggest life lesson taught by this sports-related situation – no matter what life hands you, you can’t let it beat you down and you have to stand back up and be ready for what’s coming next.

Everyone probably needs to take that lesson to heart.

 

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