Starting out in sports wasn’t necessarily a big long dream that we had planned for our children. It really begin as extensions of physical education at their elementary schools. Then the first big question arose, what sport should we play?
My dad pushed for Tennis, as he is an avid fan. My husband put bids in for Swimming or Track. Not wanting to be a parent that forces their love for a sport on their kid, we tried them all. Anything and everything that was in our area. The first thing we recognized is that they gravitated to team sports. That sense of purpose that comes from winning and losing together. Those individual sports such as Tennis, Track, Bowling or Swimming just didn’t resonate as well. There are absolutely doubles events or relays, but that wasn’t enough. They thrived on sports where they were on the field or court together, with their comrades.
Over the years this led us to all become active in Lacrosse. Something that started as a hobby, quickly became a way of life for our family. Even today, my daughter finished her first tournament of the year 3-1. The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat was felt together, and as a result we expect that collectively they become stronger for it.
And although teams sports are great, it still requires the individual dedication that every athlete must be willing to do. For example, our son, after a long day of watching his sister play lacrosse still wanted to go practice on his own. He wants to improve and we support this effort. This made me realize that even a team sport athlete must, at times, be able to maintain a level of discipline as other athletes. I think the only difference is your motivation and you accountability.
Team sports enable multiple people to pick up the pieces when it’s just not your day on the field. Individually, if it’s a bad day you can only look in the mirror for the answer. So the final comparative is, how do you want to win. Surrounded by those you have worked hard with for months or years, or standing alone to bask in the glory?