Your local rec league board met about selections to the league’s all star team ten days ago. The announcements have obviously already gone out and your son or daughter did not get “the call.”
Well, a good place to start, believe it or not, may in fact be to indulge a bit of emotion for a minute or two. So go ahead … get away from your children and spouse, the dog and cat, the canary and the goldfish; escape into the garage or out into the deepest part of the backyard or into the car for a moment (maybe even drive to a secluded woodland forest; get in a fight with a bear or two, but definitely close the door and roll up the windows) and give yourself permission to feel bad, angry, sad, frustrated, helpless, etc., etc., etc.
Scream. Yell. Kick the dog. (No no no!!! That’s just an old “farm saying”) DO NOT KICK THE DOG!!!) But it is okay to “vent” a bit …
Good!!! Okay now; step #2: Pick up your chin. Breathe. In slowly. Exhale slowly and …
Feel better? Aren’t YOU glad you got that out and over with? Aren’t you glad you released and got rid of the “you” in all this?
Because you need to move on. The most important thing is that this is NOT about you but ALL ABOUT your son or daughter. How are THEY handling this?
As a parent, start with YOUR OWN ROLE in “how THEY are handling this.”
Remember that rejection is an enormously painful emotion. Your child, above all else is looking to you for affection, support and guidance so, DO NOT translate any negative emotions to your child.
Whatever it is; baseball, soccer, lacrosse, basketball, tennis, etc., it is still just a game.
I would hope that, at this point in time, we are all informed and intelligent enough to know that “rec” league all stars or “travel team” selection at twelve years old (and less) is NOT a barometer of future success in sport or virtually any endeavor for that matter and, in reality, has little if ANYTHING to do with … well, with … ANYTHING; certainly not where a youngster ends up in life or even, many times, in their sport.
In baseball, we all know the stories of players like the Yankees’ Brett Gardner who walked on for a tryout in college, got cut but talked the coach into letting him “work out with the team” and is now making $12m/year as the Bombers’ left fielder.
This, by the way, is NOT an uncommon story. American League MVP Jose Altuve got cut at a tryout. Mike Piazza; perhaps the greatest hitting catcher of all time got drafted in the 62nd round. (They don’t even have 62 rounds anymore). Keith Hernandez; considered by many the greatest defensive first baseman in history was drafted in the 42nd round; 785th overall. (They don’t have 42 rounds anymore either). John Smoltz; 22nd round pick. Ryne Sandberg, 2oth round pick. Both Hall of Famers. Andy Petite, 22nd round. Future first round Hall of Famer Albert Pujols,
Let’s start with your son or daughter’s “self image” Even if … (capital) “IF” an adjustment has to made in their play on the field or some other part of their game all star selection or invites to travel ball has nothing to do with their “value” as human beings.
As a parent, you MUST defuse this and REMIND them of this; REMIND them of your love and support; your “acceptance” of them as as your children. Soccer, baseball, basketball, hockey, etc., etc., etc. have nothing to do with a child’s value as a person; a human being.
Every post game “pick up” of your child needs to start with the PARENTS’ ANTHEM and OATH: “I love to watch you play. Let’s go for ice cream.”
Love. Laugh and here’s a good word: “RELEASE” the performance; the game, the season; the ISSUE and get on with your and your child’s life.
More coming up. Stay tuned.
Sometimes it is difficult to ask for help.
All of us could improve something with our mental approach to our game. Sometimes we need help but don’t know who to ask … or how. Contact me and I can explain my sports mental toughness programs and you can learn how to quickly and easily improve your own mental game or that of your son/daughter or the players you coach.
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