The world of kids and sports can be as frustrating as it is fun. But let’s be honest: parents bring a lot of the vexation upon themselves.
And one of the most common ways parents do this is by using two little, but very powerful words.
My dad always told me when I was growing up not to what-if myself, but apparently I didn’t learn my lesson because I have continued to let those two little words hover in my mind, just waiting for a good reason to shout into my psyche and drive me nuts.
Kids and sports provided those two little words with the perfect opportunity to rear their ugly heads.
What if my son doesn’t make the team?
What if my daughter doesn’t start?
What if my child doesn’t get to play in today’s game?
What if the coach doesn’t see potential in my child?
What if my son doesn’t get along with his teammates?
What if my daughter doesn’t play well in front of the scouts?
What if my son doesn’t pitch a good game?
What if, what if, what if!!!
How much energy do we waste on what-ifs? Most of the stuff we what-if about doesn’t even come true and even if it does, what good does what-if do?
Kids and sports are not changed in any way by your what-iffing
You are the only one affected by your what-iffing, and it’s not in a good way. What-iffing brings stress and ulcers and grumpiness. Our what-iffing not only affects us, it wears down the people that are close enough to hear it.
If you absolutely must entertain those two little words, then the least you can do is make their stay useless and uncomfortable. When they start taking over your mind and spilling out of your mouth, ask yourself a couple questions: what is it that I’m afraid of? And if that happens, what will I do?
For example, I may be what-iffing about my daughter’s first year on the varsity softball team: What if she doesn’t get the starting catcher spot that she’s worked so hard for?
What am I afraid of? I’m afraid she’ll lose her starting spot, that she’ll be crushed and want to quit. I’m afraid she won’t go on to play college ball like she wants.
And if that happens, what will I do? I will be her support, I will encourage her to stick with it and fight it out. But if she quits, I will still love her. She may not play in college, but maybe there’s something else she’d rather focus on.
Better yet, what if you refused to get sucked into what-iffing?
Kids and sports should be an enjoyable, life-building, growing combination. Don’t let your what-iffing ruin the fun.
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