My favourite part of parenting is seeing my boys play sports. I can already see what it is doing for their confidence and their ability to cope with adversity and the will to soldier on through uncomfortable situations. They already have moments where I can see their resilience…I can see when my eldest son is scared to fail but refuses to quit. It took us a long time to teach him to just ‘keep trying’…but I also know it wasn’t just us that taught him that, it was the community we have surrounded him with.
Just last weekend my boys Raff, 6, and Jarvie, 3, played in their first T-ball competition…it wasn’t the way they were playing T-ball that made me proud it was hearing the coaches say, ‘don’t throw your gloves, you need to look after your equipment’, and ‘if you want to bat you must field as well, your team needs you.’
I smiled with some of the most happy feelings I have ever had. I know what sports can do for a kid. It changed my life, it made me who I am today. I was a scrawny kid, a little less girly than the average young girl and I was painfully aware that my body looked different to the other girls I played with in the school yard. It wasn’t until I played sport that I began to realise the gift I had been given…the gift of mind and body strength, the gift to never quit and the gift to strive to be the best. Not just for myself, but for my team.
My parents drove me to anything and everything I ever wanted when I was a kid, two nights of Netball, two nights of Lacrosse, 5am swimming sessions, and weekend competition dates. It boggles my mind how much they did for me but there isn’t a day that goes by that I’m no appreciative for the belief they had in me.
My most treasured experience from having played sport as a kid and into my adult life is the fact that my mind is much more powerful than I ever would have realised. I have the ability to just ‘keep playing’ through everything…it taught me that I was strong, it taught me the power of my body and the strength of my most treasured friendships.
I lost more than I have won in my sporting career but I certainly wouldn’t change a thing (okay maybe a few)…but my life has been shaped by sports. It was the moments that were too hard to bare when you had to just ‘keep playing’ that made the most impact.
Serena Williams has just released a new video with Gatorade featuring her gorgeous new little lady…and it NAILS why we want our kids to play sports. It’s not about which sport they choose, or how good they are…it’s just about the fact they keep trying.
Pop in some headphones and have a listen to our chat with Sophie Cachia AKA The Young Mummy about the importance of sport as a kid below and then head here to subscribe to podcast so you can get EVERY episode of On the Couch and Show+Tell Radio as they drop.