You played really hard today. I saw you.
I saw you struggle to kick that ball and defend your goal. I saw you save your Goal Keeper from being pummeled by the other team.
I saw that awesome kick made by the shy kid that usually hides from the ball.
Way to go KID!
I saw your sweat and determination to gain control of the ball back from that amazing forward on the opposing team.
I saw you struggle and encourage each other to keep trying.
I heard you cheer for the team member that made a goal.
I saw you pick up the fallen team mate and help him get back in the game.
You did it. You were the team that every team should strive to be. The team that helps each other when you are down. The team that laughs and has fun despite losing. That is what YMCA sports is all about.
It isn’t about winning. It is all about the journey.
I know it’s sad when you lose but I also know that when you do win, it means that much more.
You tried hard, you played hard, that is everything.
So, parents out there make sure you congratulate your kids on losing.
Yes, because you can’t always win but it is the kids that handle the loss with grace that have learned so much more.
They will know how to keep going. To keep trying even when it is hard. You see it is so much more than a soccer game.
It is life. It is about good attitudes and the courage to stand up and take charge. It is about helping someone when they are down. It is about moving forward and trying that much harder every time you fall.
The journey is what gets you to your dreams. It isn’t about immediate success. It is about failing and trying again. It is about getting knocked down and getting back up.
It is about love and respect and admiration for those around you. It is about finding that deep well of inner strength that forces you to keep going even when you have lost. Even when you have failed.