Our Keepsake Journal is Here! 🎉

My son participated in tryouts out for a new travel soccer team at the end of a recreational fall soccer season one chilly evening in November. He has been playing recreational soccer since he was three years old when we started with the local club. He has been asking about joining a travel team since kindergarten. In recent seasons, I watched him struggle in the recreational league. I watched him wanting a little bit more in the sport as he developed his passionhe was ready to grow. 

We knew he loved soccer, and it was something he had always wanted to do. So, we gave it a go. He was able to try out during a travel practice with 8- and 9-year-old boys. He was both excited and nervous, but he showed up to be evaluated by the coaches in the middle of a fall/spring season, which can be difficult to do since teams are already established.

RELATED: My Kids May Never Be Professional Athletes, But They’ll Be Strong, Confident Adults Because of Youth Sports

After the practice, we drove home. He was quiet at first. Then, he said it went well, but he said that one player talked smack to him and was critical of his performance. This was a small encounter, but it stayed with him. I get it.

He wanted to fit in, be liked, and be valued by the other players. 

Then, there was also another kid, who said, “I’m rooting for you. I hope you make the team.”

I don’t know the mom of that child’s parents. But if I did I’d tell her thank you.

Seriously, thank you. I believe with my whole heart that these are the bigger, more important, lessons in playing the game.

Because that kid’s cheerleading words of affirmation are what I told my boy to focus on.

I told him, “Find the friends who root for you instead of people who tear you down. There will often always be both. And you have to learn to lean in to find the good and find friends and teammates who are willing to cheer for you and ignore the rest.”

RELATED: Life is Too Short for Fake Cheese and Fake Friends

The best reminder for you in this season—whatever you’re going through—is don’t be discouraged. Find people who will root for you.

I’m rooting for you. 

Originally published on the author’s Facebook page

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Dena Wentz

Writer, social worker, wife, and mom of 2 boys trying to make the world a better place. Cardboard, Joy, and More and Ana's Little Free Library are our two special projects. Mailboxes are my favorite way to share joy. Follow me at my Facebook page @What We've Got is Gold.

Watching My Kids Play Sports is Worth the Hassle

In: Kids, Motherhood
Little boy holding soccer ball

I was an athlete until the day I walked across the stage at high school graduation. Being from a small high school we traveled to play most away games. My parents, both employed full-time, never missed a single game. My father was one of the assistant coaches. They spent my entire childhood schlepping me and my sister to city-organized soccer games, then middle school softball games, and then finally high school soccer and softball practices and games. I don’t say all this to brag about what a wonderful family dynamic I grew up with. I write this because it wasn’t...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Consumes Our Life, And We Wouldn’t Have it Any Other Way

In: Kids, Motherhood
Family selfie at soccer field, color photo

The weekend is drawing near and without a doubt, I know the question is imminent—What are you doing this weekend? There is always a sense of inquisitiveness and optimism that my answer will be intriguing, fascinating, or strike envy. That sentiment quickly dissipates when the answer is “we have games” nine times out of 10. The deadpan stares and one-syllable retorts have become commonplace. The only variant to that reaction is the spontaneous ask to come to girls’ night out, and that is met more with a pity-felt “Awww, well maybe next time.” Spoiler alert: There really never is a...

Keep Reading

I’ll Never Spend Enough Hours Watching You Play

In: Kids, Motherhood
Boy playing basketball, color photo

When your kid grows into a passion. You, as a parent, grow into that same passion. How many hours spent driving you to practice, sitting through practice, sitting through games, sometimes two or more in one evening? How many hours spent training for that one special three-pointer we knew someday you would make? How many hours spent bonding with your teammates, your best of friends, your classmates, your “boys?” How many hours spent dreaming of one day—making the team in grade school, high school, and (dare I say it?) college? How many hours? And were they all worth it? Absolutely....

Keep Reading