2017 was a rough season for my daughter’s community basketball team. This was her first (and last) year playing with the Leopards. Her team had lost every game and, mercifully, this was the final game of the season.
Ever the supportive parents, my husband and I cheered from the sidelines, as my (then 9-year-old) dribbled the bright orange basketball down the court. I held my breath as it soared in slow motion from her fingertips. Wide-eyed I watched the ball float through the air…and miraculously swish into the basket. I felt my body swell with parental pride. The sting of every loss from that miserable season had been washed away in that moment.
But as the cheers erupted from the opposite side of the court, a sinking feeling set in. In a tangle of enthusiasm and confusion, my daughter had run in the wrong direction and scored 3 points for the opposing team.
The season concluded with zero wins. All losses. The car door had barely closed when the tears started to flow, and the pep talk began. “It’s okay,” I hugged her tight. “You’ll get better. Keep practicing. Keep trying. You just haven’t mastered basketball…yet.”