Living the Game

13 Feb

Yesterday I watched my daughter and her church team play basketball. It was a tough game. The girls played hard. When the final buzzer sounded, the other team had more points. A lot more.

But it was all good, because one of my daughter’s teammates had brought cupcakes with red sparkly frosting to share with the team, and as the girls enjoyed the treats together, the score was soon forgotten.

My husband Dan is the coach. It’s not easy to teach basketball skills to 9, 10, and 11-year-old girls who are, at times, much more interested in things like glittery shoe laces and lucky socks. And of course, giggling. Lots of giggling. Which I have to agree can be just as much fun as playing basketball.

As I watched the girls play, I realized the important life skills we learn when we play games such as basketball.

Over and over again the girls shot the ball, missed, rebounded the ball, and missed again. Discouraging? Yes, but definitely an effective way to develop perseverance, because there are going to be times in life when giving up will not be an option.

Halfway through the game, I could see that some of the girls were getting winded. Cheeks turned red and fatigue set in. But still they continued to play their best, without complaint. They were developing endurance. Life is not always going to be easy. Sometimes in order to survive, we need to endure.

Every so often a pass would slip through the girls’ hands, the other team would steal the ball, or the referee would make a bad call. Yet the girls encouraged each other throughout the game. We all need encouragement from time to time, don’t we? Because life is not fair. Things happen that we never planned or expected. We make mistakes. We get knocked down. That’s when we need the support of those around us, even if it’s just a kind word from a stranger.

After all, it’s not about winning, I remind my husband. It’s about how you play the game. And, more importantly, it’s about who’s bringing the cupcakes.

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3 Responses to “Living the Game”

  1. Connie February 14, 2011 at 11:20 am #

    Jill, your truth about enduring reminds me of the book by Reuben Welch, entitled, “When You Run Out of Fantastic, Persevere.” Sometimes life demands perseverance.”

  2. Kamela February 14, 2011 at 11:48 am #

    As usual, you brought tears to my eyes, especially remembering that frustrating game. Thanks for putting a positive spin on it!

  3. writergirldreams February 18, 2011 at 8:03 pm #

    Girl power! First of all, I love hearing this! Go Girls! Girl power! and how great Hubby is right in there, leading and teaching them. Now that is a patient man! Oh the glory of the times I won. Oh the agony of the times I failed or lost. If only, somebody had been there to hand me a cupcake with red sparkly frosting. and where may I ask do you get lucky socks? I need some of those.

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