I’m a competitive person. I don’t mean run of the mill competitive. I’m mean competitive.
If I’m using GPS in my car, I want to beat the estimated time of arrival. If I’m watching Jeopardy with my husband, I want to get more questions right. If we’re playing any sort of game, I get mad if I don’t win (even if the game was fair and square).
I also love sports. I ran track through the end of high school. I relished the competition. I ran faster if I had my sights set on someone ahead of me.
As my oldest has begun to play sports, it’s posed an interesting situation. How do I watch my son play sports, without letting my own competitiveness dictate my behavior on the sidelines or in the stands?
The answer? I focus on him. After all, it’s about him: he’s the one learning to play on a team, experiencing the highs and lows of sports in real time.
I’m proud when he scores a goal. I’m just as proud when his team works together to move the ball up field and someone else scores.
I’m proud when he has a solid at bat. I’m equally as proud when he cheers on his teammates for their good plays.
I love watching him interact with his coaches and teammates. It’s fun to watch him play against teams his friends are on. Their friendly banter throughout the game is hilarious.
My boys are just at the beginning of their time in sports. I trust their coaches to guide them. I trust them to learn how to handle themselves on the field of play.
I look forward to watching them succeed (and fail) more times than any of us will be able to remember.
I promise that I will always focus on them. I promise to tell them I’m proud of them after every single game. To celebrate with pizza when it’s called for.
Most importantly, I promise to always be there for them, in the stands or on the sidelines.
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