Monday, January 2, 2017

Healthy Family Competition. Yeah, Right

In 2008 Jordan tried out for the 3rd/4th grade travel basketball team, and she got a spot. She was quick and seemed to understand the rules and skills needed to play, although she appeared to lack a bit of the confidence, or comfort level, needed to play. She was one of those players who thought about all the moves and plays, and understood perfectly how each should be run. The problem was, being on a court with a bunch of young, competitive girls, was completely different than studying the plays on a play sheet.

During a game, when things got confusing or hyped up, she would kind of step back and become more of a spectator, than a player. At one point her coach, who was wonderfully positive and patient, said “Jordan, go for the orange thing." His comment cracked me up, because let's face it, along with a boat-load more internal frustration, I was thinking the same exact thing.

Jordan would practice shooting in our driveway for long periods of time, especially the day of a game. Before one particular game, she and Kayla were both practicing together. I knew nothing good could come from this, but I let nature take its course and hoped for the best. I can count on one hand the number of times our family game nights, family bike rides, and supposedly-fun local day trips, did not end with at least one miserable, angry, sobbing Beck family member, whether adult or child.

Kayla was a very aggressive player. She played fair, but when it came to defense, she was quick and relentless; like a shadow. Apparently Kayla's shadow-power took its toll on Jordan, so much so, that she pushed Kayla. Hard. Kayla went flying forward, and hit the ground.

Believe me, I understand competitiveness. I get that level of anger and the fulfilling feeling of retribution, but it needs to be done within the rules of the sport. Don't tell anyone, but I was somewhat impressed that Jordan entered into this new level of athleticism. I secretly hoped it would resurface during an actual game. But being the equitable, involved parents that we were, we felt the need to make one simple request; Jordan was asked to admit to pushing Kayla, and to apologize for doing it.

And when I say we made a simple request, I actually mean we had the nerve to ask a torturous, "how dare you", almost-humanly-impossible request.

Here we go again.

Thank you.

Us Too

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