Parenting Win of the Week: Never Too Old to Try New Things

Finding your groove isn't easy, but confidence is key.

995513432

995513432

moderne Schule, Bayern, Deutschland

Photo by: Westend61

Westend61

My son came home the other day and asked me if he could play travel basketball. He already plays a travel sport (hello insane spring!), but he was really determined. He is not very tall for his age, about average, but his determination has always been spot on.

The day of the tryouts, we planned to go to the park first (they were later in the evening). A few mom friends had asked me if I wanted to play pickleball, a game I had never played. I was really nervous — even if they were good friends of mine, they all knew how to play better than me.

So, I went and they taught me and I was frustrated that it took me a while to pick up the game. It had been years since I had even played tennis and the rules for this felt wacky to me.

Once I felt comfortable and got my groove, my confidence increased. Was I good at the sport? Not a chance. But could I get good enough? I thought so.

When we left the park, the tryouts were pushed up an hour to combine the kids into a class of 4th to 7th graders. My son is on the younger end of that range.

When we got to the gym, there were kids who towered over ME and I could tell he was nervous. I told him not to worry about those kids and just focus on himself and what he needed to get done.

Now, there aren’t many parallels to my life and his sports track record. I was certainly not an athlete growing up, but having that afternoon experience playing pickleball made me better understand how he was feeling. And yes, I know mine was much lower stakes.

He came out of the tryouts beaming with pride and knew he crushed it. I humbled him a bit, but he was right — the next day he made it!

I woke up the next morning sore but really happy that I did try something new. I workout regularly, but there truly is something about playing a sport that I needed to remind myself of, all thanks to him.

And now when I spend my spring and summer at all of his games, I will remind myself that for him, there is such a thrill and accomplishment that comes from each new skill learned and each goal achieved.

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