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Monday, November 10, 2014

The Jacket

Max lettered in hockey in March and baseball in May.  A pretty big accomplishment for a sophomore and I was beyond proud of him.  His dedication to his teams and his consistent effort to be a better player and a solid team player make me proud of the young man he is growing into.

I've been seeing a lot of articles about parents pushing their kids in sports and how much time parents expect their kids to put in.  How they'll hate sports by the time they are in high school and it wouldn't be a life long choice if they were given the decision.  Most of the articles are talking about kids who dedicate to one sport only and play it year round but a few have referenced families similar to ours.  A family who goes from one sport to another, season after season.

The thing is, I never pushed him.  I will admit that his first year of mites I may have forced him into gear about a month in because he didn't want to practice, he only wanted to play games (that was where the first lesson of, "if you commit to something, you WILL finish" came into play;)

BUT after that, that kid lived for his sports.  Trust me when I tell you that it was NOT my choice to be at a field or a rink 3-5 days a week when he was young but that's what the teams required.  When he got older, the days and the hours increased.  It was me that begged, "can't you please just miss ONE practice" and he would roll his eyes, shake his head and load his stuff into the car.  He went tired, he went sick and he went sore.  He would not and will not let his coach or his team down and in Max's eyes, missing a practice is letting everyone down including himself.  

He opted to continue to play soccer, hockey and baseball through middle school.  They overlapped sometimes but the sport of the season got his full commitment to the irritation of more than one coach.  He was told and understood by not committing full-time to one sport that it could cost him down the road when it came to making the "elite" teams but he was firm on playing all the sports he loved.  He has adjusted and although he doesn't play on a formal team year round, he rarely hangs up his skates.  He knows that to stay competitive he has to.  He feels like he's letting his team down if he's not at the top of his game when the season starts.  It's a quality in him that I admire.  It's a quality that is going to get him far in life.  

I guess where I'm going with this post is that I think parents need to listen to their children.  Offer opportunities but let them be your guide.  Sports have taught him what commitment means.  Sports have heightened his compassion.  Sports have kept him physically fit.  Sports have exposed him to the good, the bad and the ugly of a lot of different personalities and given him perspective.  Sports are his passion and I am so glad he took me along on the ride.  

Here he is in his letter jacket.  He looks pretty handsome if I do say so myself;)

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