We spent the weekend on the lacrosse fields watching J and his team. We didn't even get the initial schedule for the tournament until two days beforehand, so I was in deep denial about actually spending the entire weekend watching ten- and eleven-year-olds run around with sticks.
During the first two games, our boys played like they'd only practiced once in a couple of weeks. Which, in fact, had been the practice schedule. Hmmmm. Terrible ball skills, no catching and weak throwing. They lost the first two games by a combined 15-3, or thereabouts. Pretty miserable.
Since our team was at the bottom of their bracket, we had to stay around for a 4 p.m. game to see if we could come back and play in the elimination rounds the next day. On the good side, they won! On the less-good side, we had to come back the next day (an hour away) for an uncertain amount of play. Well.
First game of the day...they won! A close, back-and-forth game, fun to watch. Who were these kids? Why were they only showing up halfway through the tournament? So we played again. We jumped out to an early 5-1 lead, with a wicked attack combination that scored three quick goals. But the other team figured that out, battled to an 8-8 tie, and forced us into sudden-death overtime. We lost...but still had to play one last game for the third place medal.
We were down quickly to a better team. We kept them close but couldn't touch them for a while. Then one of our boys found a way to score three quick goals, tying things up. One last goal with 53 seconds left...J's team won! Third place felt very sweet after the struggles of the earlier games.
No more thoughts (although I have them) on kids' sports. Just going to let my sweet boy bask in the glory of a hard-won medal:
And basking in the glory of a hard-earned medal IS what it's all about.