The U of A ladies lacrosse team defeated USC by a score of 16-14 last week. I enjoy it when the team I’m rooting for wins. I enjoy it even more when people I know are playing, especially when they happen to be my daughter and numerous other girls I coached and know like family.
I’m proud as punch to know those girls… In truth, I want them to win, but more importantly to me, I want them to win in the game of life.
I believe you can tell a lot about a person by the way they play a game. Watching them play reads like a book. You can spot the most aggressive, the ones who are good under pressure, the ones playing mostly for fun, and the ones who are playing to win at all costs.
I spent a good amount of time trying to be a decent role model, instill some sound principles in the girls for playing not just lacrosse, but the game of life. There are no illusions in my persona, every one of those girls understand I’m not perfect. They too can read in me the strengths and weaknesses.
The game was close all night. USC went out to an early lead, but halftime U of A had taken the lead. It seesawed back and forth most of the second half until U of A went up by four with about five minutes to play. The momentum swung back toward USC and they brought it within one with a few minutes left. U of A finally ran the clock out and scored one more time with only seconds left.
I was happy, clapped a little, but was disappointed with a few things… One of them was the officiating. I know enough to know it wasn’t good… It looked like the refs got caught up emotionally by a booing crowd and let it affect their decision making. In that same emotional state, I found my other disappointment; myself.
When the refs were making what I considered bad calls, I yelled… They probably didn’t hear me, but I know the girls playing, as well as the ones I coached sitting around us, heard it loud and clear. Not exactly the perfect role model, the loud mouth in the crowd, but not a new revelation.
Everyone has a weakness – that’s one of mine… When I sense injustice my blood boils. It’s not a slow building like a steam kettle, more like an explosion, a bomb going off.
The truth is I’d have been okay with a good game played and fought hard, refereed fairly, ending in a loss. I’ve been there before, it’s disappointing, but not the end of the world. I believe doing anything with all our might, will, passion, and honor is a step toward a winning life. Numbers can’t describe a true winner in this life, our actions tell that story.
I believe one of the best habits to develop is the habit of perseverance, used to overcome obstacles and difficulties in this life.
Those girls are honing those skills for the rest of their lives. Maybe the next game, I’ll be able to use that same gift to keep my mouth shut?
Probably not a good bet…