Recently I sat on the score bench at my eldest sons basketball game, and watched him be disappointed.

Master 9 has always been successful at sports, and has not racked up a lot of losses in his time. I knew these losses would come but was nervous about it. Nobody wants to watch their kid be disappointed.

My heart broke, because I could see he tried his absolute hardest, but circumstances prevailed.

He was in a grudge match, his team against another school team, but that team had one of his best mates in it.

DH coaches Master 9s team,and the majority of this team were undefeated in a younger and lower level comp.

The game was a tight one, with 2 points here, 2 points there.

And then Master 9 got 4 fouls, in a game where 5 fouls puts you off the court for the rest of the game. In the first minutes of the second quarter he got 4 fouls and was subbed off – where Coach would hold him till the last quarter. There was only 1 sub, so that meant the other players had to work double time, with no breaks.

Sitting on the bench, I watched him go through all sorts of emotions – frustration, disappointment, feeling hard done by but wanting to help the team.

I wanted to rush over to him, and comfort him, but this was a lesson he needed to learn. Some times the calls don’t go your way. No matter how hard you try.

Coach put him back on in the 4th quarter, with 1 foul in his pocket. Master 9 knew the game was in the balance, and has always had huge amounts of hustle on the court, but the refs were on him like hawks. And then the whistle blew, and Master 9 was off for the rest of the game, and watched his team lose, not by anyone’s fault, but devastating nonetheless.

Their first loss, and Master 9 felt at fault.
My heart broke and I know Coach’s (dads) heart broke too. But it was a valuable lesson for the whole team to learn and one little life lesson for Master 9 – sometimes life isn’t fair. And that is not the end of the world.

Letting your kids fail is a hard lesson for us all, but I think it is important and allows them to grow and develop.