We camped out at the DC Convention Center for a huge tournament over the weekend. Lucy’s team went 50%. Placed third in their bracket overall. They learned a difficult life lesson over the weekend. Lucy is #23.
Their coach, Jason, plays all the girls equally. And can because they are all very good players. We basically have two full teams. He might tweak player combinations, but as a rule, he’ll play one entire team of girls (6 girls) for the first game in a two-game match, and the other 6 girls in the second game of the match. If they go to a third tie-breaker game, usually the team on the court during the second game of the match stays on to begin the the tie-breaker and he’ll eventually sub all the first game team in before the tie-breaker is over. No matter how an individual girl is playing. And just like me, at any given time of any given day…it could be that a girl is having an off day. She’ll play anyway. That is why the girls love Jason so much.
And sometimes hate his guts.
Take Sunday, for example. We’re facing the last match of the day. Against a team that hasn’t lost any matches all day. If we beat them in two games, we take first place in our bracket. And, more importantly, don’t have to be back the next day to play at 8:00am. If we win first place, we come back and play at 1:00pm.
Earlier in the day, some of the girls…my sweet Lucy included…also known as Miss Intense Competitor…complained that Jason yanked out some of the girls who were playing really well and subbed in when he should have just let the team out there play the thing and win. Jason got a bit ticked about his coaching decisions being questioned. My own girl, for example, rode the pine (aka sat the bench) a little longer than she normally would have because she voiced a complaint.
So this all-important last game of Sunday evening comes along and Jason decides to give the girls what they asked for. He played the team he knew would win. And win they did. It was a super tense, very close game. It got ugly. The parents got ugly (I’ll be posting more on that later), but we won. And there were a lot of tears. Not tears of joy for winning…tears of hurt, pain, questions…
Several of the girls sat the bench the entire match. After sitting the bench for a game before this one. And they sat on the bench and cried. The girls who played also cried, in sorrow for the ones who sat the bench. And then they began complaining.
Ahhhh…how the tables had turned. The girls who played the entire last match…my own sweet daughter included, cried for the girls sitting the bench. And wanted Jason to go back to the old way of everyone getting to play. Lesson learned.
Monday at 1:00pm. The first team comes out for the first game. My own sweet Lucy is not amongst those playing. Nor did she play the second game of the match. She was subbed in for two plays during the tie-breaker. We ended up losing this match…and it was single elimination. One would think the girls would be happy…playing time for the weekend had been equaled out. Lucy, after all, had played four straight games equalling two complete matches! She still had more playing time than the other girls, overall.
Lucy is still stewing about it. I haven’t pointed out to her the contradiction…the life lessons that should be learned here.
But I will.
Because there are several. One…winning is NOT everything. Period.
And two…be careful what you ask for.
Oh…and three…I don’t care who you are…in a moment of deep stress…especially when your own sweet child is involved…you can become one of “those parents”…
More to come on THAT ugly, painful, ah-ha moment.