One of my favorite sayings is Sometimes you win. Sometimes you learn. I don’t believe you ever lose.
This weekend we traveled to Chicago where three of our boys played in two different hockey tournaments. Our PeeWees were put in a higher division. The decision was made to still play because it was a learning experience.
It’s hard to be a kid wrapping your head around the thought that you might lose all your games. A well coached team knows no matter the outcome, upon return to regular league play, they will play amazing because they stepped up and met the challenge.
When faced with a challenge, it’s human nature to step up to the level of the challenger. Unfortunately our team did not walk away with any wins. They didn’t walk away with any blowouts either. They stepped up and kept their momentum intact. Equally as important, they kept their heads and appreciated the games for what they were–games with an opportunity for growth.
It’s also human nature to ask, “Did you win?” As a parent it’s equally as hard not to sigh and say, “No.” Appreciating the opportunity, I answered with, “The score was not in our favor, but what a great game!”
Though my older boys are in their own division, the score was not in their favor even though the other team had a player and a coach ejected. They out played the other team, but the score tilted the other way. There is no way to see that when you look at the 3-1 score.
Success as a parent is when our kids can skate off the ice, walk off the field, or leave the court with a sense pride in a win or a loss. When they have pride in themselves a loss will never count. As parents we have to give them a moment to mourn a loss, but ourselves move on from it as well. Winning games do not define our child as an athlete or us as a successful parent. Well rounded children come back from a losing score and say, “Next time I’ll work on this or that.” They will also come out of a win with the very same attitude.
Never a loss, always a learning experience.