Last night, my son had a baseball game. Husband was coaching. I was running the dugout. Our boys faced a tough team and played hard. Our son had a good game but made some mistakes that don’t usually happen. He was upset.
On the way home in the car, it was just the two of us. We were quiet for a few minutes, just relaxing and downloading all that had happened. Something prompted me to say, “I am proud of you”. I saw his stress start to melt away. He looked at me with tears in his eyes and said, “Why would you be proud of me?”
I told him that he doesn’t have to do anything spectacular on that field for me to be proud of him. As long as he tries his best, I will always be proud.
I reminded him that baseball is a tough sport. There is a very good chance you will strike out, drop a ball, miss a grounder, or be called out at a base. It is ok. You will not be perfect every time.
There were some good things that happened on the field. He had some good plays and hits, so we focused on those. I reminded him that the rest of the player development will come… just to keep working hard.
The conversation could have gone a very different way in the car on the way home. We could have focused on all that went wrong and how we were going to make it better, but instead, he needed to hear that I was proud. And my words made a difference.
Later he told me that those words made him feel better about himself. I hope so. I don’t want his self-worth to be dependent upon his performance on the field. He has a lot of heart, he loves the game, and as long as he is having fun and trying hard… I will ALWAYS be proud.
Tomorrow is a new day.