Basketball Mom–Tournament Style

While I’m the last to claim that I spend my every waking (non-working) hour with my kids, it does seem that I am spending an inordinate amount of time at basketball tournaments over the Christmas and New Years holidays. My youngest is in not one, but two basketball tournaments running simultaneously at different churches. The decision to add her team to the home tournament was last minute. There are only nine girls on the team and with one out sick and one otherwise unavailable, it’s just seven of them per game.

They are off to a great start. Yesterday was day one of our own tournament. I signed up for concessions, the tournament being the biggest CYO fundraiser of the year even though there are fall, winter, and spring sports. After I poured out pop, assembled hot dogs, salted and microwaved pretzels, and poured cheese for the nachos for an hour and 15 minutes, I handed off to the next shift and took my seat in the stands.

My daughter played the entire game, a real treat for both of us. She loves the game and was thrilled to have two tournaments to play in while the regular games are on hold over the holidays. She has grown so much as a player over the years and just needs a bit more confidence to shoot rather than pass at the critical moment. She had her head in the game and scored several baskets and a foul shot. I was so proud of her!

I think back five years to when she first started to play. The “freshman” team comprises third and fourth grade boys and girls. It is intramural, and the main purpose is to learn the rules and how to play. Only about half-way through the season do they start breaking into teams and playing each other in real games. At first, she was excited to sign-up and play, but she soon lost her enthusiasm. It was a lot of work learning all that stuff and she wasn’t any good at it. It wasn’t fun. That was when I stepped in (as the total non-athlete) to imbue two lessons. First of all, if you sign-up, you go to practice…that’s your commitment to the team and the coaches. Second, it’s no fun until you get good at it and you can’t get good at it without practice…so practice!

It didn’t help that the girls were all holding back and the boys were all avoiding the girls. I was glad when fifth grade came around and my daughter could play on a real team with all girls. Then at least, she was expected to play her position, learn the plays, and really become part of the team. I’ve so enjoyed watching her and her teammates evolve into really good players who enjoy each other and enjoy the game.

So, they won their first game in the home tournament yesterday and their second tonight…off to the Championship on Monday. Meanwhile, however, is the other tournament.  Today they played the first game of their second tournament and won, so they play their next game tomorrow. Trying to keep track of the schedules, especially when they depend on whether they win or lose each game, is a headache…times two! One thing I know is that this is a basketball weekend, with five games in four days…then a break and more games starting Friday for the finals in the second tournament.

So, as I stare down my last stay-cation week, I have some decisions to make. Do I take a mini-break mid-week or do I stay home and really try to get some of my to-do list done? Regardless of what I decide, basketball has now become a large part of my agenda!

Find the Joy in the Journey…especially when you have to take a detour!

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