I especially enjoyed watching my son grow and learn this past basketball season
The brackets are out and America’s attention has officially turned to the NCAA National Tournament Brackets.
Who got left off? Who has the best chance to win? The Super Bowl may be the biggest one-day sporting event, but the next month will be dominated by college basketball.
Every time a ball bounces in a back yard for the next few weeks, kids will imagine themselves beating the buzzer to keep their team alive. Every dad will dream about what it would be like if the television camera panned over to them after junior became a national hero.
But my son isn’t dreaming that dream and I probably won’t be that dad. Blake loves to play but he is a recreation league kid all the way right now. He could end up being 6’8” and become an NBA All Star.
Neither of those is very likely. But I am still glad he plays sports – not because of all he may be one day but because of what he is becoming right now.
I especially enjoyed watching him grow and learn this past basketball season.
His team had the worst record in the league after the regular season. In fact, in one game, they failed to score a single point.
He was really bummed after that game and said how much he hated being on a bad team. It is easy to sit and wonder why other people aren’t doing enough to make your team – or life - better. But I got to have a fun talk with him about how he is one of nine members of that team and if he wanted the team to be better, he could work harder to be better himself.
He seemed to get it. He started working harder and asking for more advice. He learned to use the advantages he does have – height, size, intelligence etc. - to make up for his lack of athleticism.
He learned to be more aggressive and to handle fatigue and pain and continue to play hard. He learned that sometimes you try really hard and the other guy is just a little bit better. Then he learned to channel the disappointment that realization brings into more practice and effort as he tried to change that.
He also learned that Cinderella is a fairy tale. There were no league championships for the team that won only two games this season.
But when they got to the end of the year tournament, they did beat a team that had beaten them easily earlier in the year and in the next round, that team that beat them 19-0 had to come from behind to beat them by the slimmest of margins, 25-23.
No, he didn’t impress any college scouts who made him the only 10-year old on a scholarship watch list, but he did learn that hard work helps. He also learned how to prepare for a challenging assignment and push through difficult circumstances in an effort to achieve a goal.
Even if the Final Four isn’t in the future, sports can teach lessons that can’t be learned in other ways. I hope my boys continue to love the game and learn how to succeed on and off the field of play.
Kent Bush is the publisher of the Butler County Times Gazette and can be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org