Summer time is here and that will see a lot of folks at ball fields. Often today it is hard for me to sit and watch what goes on at some of the ball fields of small children. T-ball, soccer games, etc. Hard for me to listen and watch some folks in some cases parents and even coaches (not all) but too many yelling at kids. Kids that are just seven, eight maybe nine years old. Recently after leaving a ball field I said to my wife, “I’m glad my parents did not yell at me when I played ball.” My parents rarely missed a game I played but never do I remember hearing their voices yelling from the stands. Another summer is upon us lets all think twice before we “yell.”
“I Missed It” is something I wrote about four years ago after being at a ball field. They never missed a game but they never yelled:
“Some of the strongest lessons can sometimes be said in silence.”
Just some thoughts:
I MISSED IT
What is one of the worst things that can happen to you? Sorry, that is a loaded question, I agree.
If you were in your teens living in Indiana and playing high school basketball, I can give you an answer. I once experienced it. It happened on a basketball court. The year was 1960,and I still remember the town and much of the particulars. It was a cold winter Friday night. (By the way being a teen in Indiana in the late 50s’, Friday and Saturday nights were the best, unmatchable.)
Looking back today I can smile, in fact, take comfort and encouragement from what happened on that night, but it wasn’t easy at the time. What happened off the court was even more important than what happened on the court that night.
It was the 4th quarter of the game, very late in the game, our team was down by 1 point. I stole the ball, intercepted a pass, and was off like lightning (well that is a bit of an overstatement, but it reads better). I broke for my teams basket at the other end of the court. I’ll cut to the chase. I was well out in front and took off to the basket about a half a step too soon. I missed the lay up. We lost the game and I felt horrible. I am sure I said, “I lost the game.” My coach and teammates did not hold that missed lay up accountable to our loss, but I did.
Much later that night I came home from the long ride on that yellow chariot (school bus)and walked into the kitchen of our little four room house. My dad was still up sitting at the kitchen table reading the paper and drinking a cup of day-old coffee. (How could they drink that stuff, old coffee?) He said to me as I stepped in the doorway of the kitchen, “Sit down.” What he next said to me is something I carry with me still to this day. “I know you feel bad about missing the basket, but your mom and I are proud of you. We felt bad for you, but you did not lose the game. Now, go hang your suit up. We’re proud of you. I think you have another game tomorrow night.” With that, I hung up my suit and we all went to bed.
How we all handle our “missed baskets” in life and equally important how those around us choose to help us handle them is so, so important. Especially to a young person.
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