Lessons learned from sports

Published 12:00 am Thursday, August 11, 2005

Our family spent the weekend watching my granddaughter play softball.

She was chosen as an all-star for her team. And of course you know her grandmother thinks she is the best player since Mickey Mantle.

Friday night her team won one game and lost one. Saturday they won three games. They lost their second game on Sunday and were eliminated. They were a little sad at losing, but they had played very well and could hold their heads high.

We were late getting home Friday and Saturday night. Saturday was hot and humid. We spent a lot of time wiping faces and necks with wet towels and drinking fluids. Still not one of us would have wanted to be anywhere else.

Is there anything more exciting than to sit on a bleacher and cheer for your child, grandchild or niece? Hard though the seat might be, you are so proud of that child you hardly notice. And if they catch a flyball, get someone out or get on base? Oh my! I believe there was more cheering for that team than most. I know I didn't hear that much noise coming from anywhere else. They really played well and were exciting to watch.

The tournament was held in Washington, NC. It was an exceptionally nice facility. The field and grounds were well maintained. There was a playground for the smaller children. The parking lot was paved and large. The concession stand and bathrooms were nice.

There were girls playing on five fields at once. The fields and spectator's area had grass.

Children learn many things playing a team sport. They learn to compete. They learn how to win and lose. They learn that working together is the way to achieve. They learn to work hard for what they want. They learn to appreciate each other's achievements.

The ones on the field always handle themselves well. It is the parents who sometimes make remarks in the stands; saying things they would not want someone to say about their child. Or sometimes calling out for them to do different from what the coach is telling them. Grown-ups sometimes need to take lessons from their children. I didn't hear any of that this weekend, but I have known it to happen.

It is wonderful that so many people spend time and money for young people. Coaches spend many hours on practice and at games. They work hard and have little reward except to see their team grow and learn. Parents also spend many hours at practice and games and a lot of them practice with their children at home. Sponsors provide money for the uniforms and equipment.

I would like to encourage all parents to get your child involved in something they enjoy and then cheer them on with all your might. There cannot be anything more satisfying than to watch your child learn and grow. Except maybe watch your grandchild learn and grow. And I have got to tell you I have the greatest grandchildren in the world. No grandmother could ask for more. I must say to my sons and their wives n YOU DID A GOOD JOB!