Nov 29

Disappointment and Opportunity

Have you heard this before?


“My team is terrible! We’re not going to win any games this season.”

“Well at least you’ll have fun.”

“I don’t care, I want to win.”

“But you’ll learn to be a leader.”

“I don’t care, we’re still going to lose.”

“Maybe you will get to play a new position.”

“I don’t want to play a new position. I want to win and be on a team with my friends.”

“Just keep playing hard and things will work out, eventually. I love you and I am so proud of you!”


While this is a relatively common conversation, it is not an enjoyable one. Children’s sports can be like a double-edged sword, good for developing skills, teamwork, a sense of belonging, determination, and humility to name a few but bad for being left out, or picked last, or disappointed – just like life.


As parents we have to look at this as a glass half-full situation. But inevitably the child will look at this as the worst thing that has ever happened in their entire life. I don’t have all the answers. It is heart wrenching to see my child so utterly disappointed that I can’t find the right words. “It is awful and I am sorry.” That’s all I really can say.


It seems like this story is a microcosm of the world. Life is unfair; there are winners and losers; many people simply fall through the cracks. But just like life, opportunities abound when we face our challenges and disappointments. It shouldn’t be: “Pull yourself up by your bootstraps, kid.”  It is the time to say: “Keep your head up, things will work out eventually. Michael Jordan didn’t make his high school basketball team but things worked out for him in the long run.”




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