This past weekend our 7 year old son James had his 3rd wrestling tournament. This is his first year and his dad is helping coach the lil guys. I did not go to the first 2 out of town meets so this was new for me. I will say that anybody who thinks kids baseball is fun has never been to a wrestling meet. I called it crack for type A parents :)
It is non stop action because when your kid or his/her teammates are not wrestling, there are 20 other kids wrestling all over the gym. Good stuff for people....like us. Our son has been cursed with not one, but 2 type A parents, who also wear their emotion right there on their sleeve. James loves anything physical and he leaves it all out there on the mat. He goes hard all the time. This is a kid it took 3 games to get him to stop tackling the kids on his OWN team to take the ball..this was in T ball!! He was only 5 then :)
Just to be clear for those that do not know us, at this age our kids like sports. If they don't want to play sports they don't have to. If they want to try music, drama, rodeo, working dogs or anything else.. we are all for it. Their life, their dreams.
James won his first 2 matches fairly easily, but his 3rd match was a different story. The other kid shot a take down right away, and pinned James early. James was crushed, so i comforted him, and tried to give my best advice from my experiences with competition. I told him that the best lessons come from the biggest failures ,and that he can use the loss to go back and get better. The people who have the greatest success have also had the most crushing failures. I told him to do what i do and go watch the people who beat him, and see what you can learn from them.
I also told him it was important to enjoy the competition no matter how he performs. It was fine to analyze his performance and to make a plan for getting better, but then put it away and enjoy the rest of the day. It is just as important to cheer for the team, and be there for all of the other kids. I told James that it is ok to always go out there and give it 100% and to try and win, but when the day is over it is just a game. If the game is not fun then there is no use coming to play.
James went on to win 2 more matches, and to loose another tough match to place 3rd in the tournament.
The next day i was getting ready to go to a local sheepdog trial, and James asked me if i was going to win. I told him that i always try to win, but this was a "fun trial" so i was there to have fun too. James said " but mom don't you have fun at all the dog trials?" I laughed ,and I had to admit that i don't always have fun. My son asked me why i did not always have fun at dog trials....................................
Good question son. At 7 James wont take a laugh for an answer so i had to give him a real answer. I thought a moment, and told James that a dog trial was just like a wrestling meet there was always fun to be had, no matter how well you compete. I said sometimes mommy's ego and competitive nature gets in the way of enjoying the whole day. The whole day being the sheep,the dogs, the people and the competition.
Nothing like a child to help you remember the more important lessons if life. If i want to teach our children how to enjoy the ride, then i better take my own advice more often.