Sometimes the best-won victories are not reflected on the score board. I saw this very clearly when my daughter was a senior in high school. She was fighting to keep her position as libero on the varsity volleyball team. When her coach informed her at the beginning of the season that he was trying someone else at libero in the next game, she was devastated. She held her tears in until she came home and then went sobbing to her room.
After drying her eyes, she picked up the volleyball and headed out to practice on her own with a friend. She decided she wasn’t going to roll over and play dead.
When game night came, it was the first home game and one she had been looking forward to; it was to have been her first time to be announced as a volleyball starter. But with the coach’s decision to start someone else at libero for this night, that hope was crushed. I got to the game a few minutes late and saw my daughter sitting on the bench.
Eventually she was subbed in to play and even though she was not playing her beloved position of libero, she played the back row rotation with a vengeance. I watched her throughout the match for signs of anger or sadness and I saw none. I saw a girl cheering her teammates on and playing with all her heart. Later that night, she told me that Coach had offered to announce her as a starter (knowing how much it meant to her) and she simply said, “No it’s Sarah’s time. Let her be introduced.” (Sarah was the girl who took her libero spot that night)
The girls won the match easily. It was a slaughter actually. But that was really of no consequence to me as her mom. I was so darn proud of that girl for her selfless attitude, for not giving up, for playing hard at the spot given her, for being a team player, and I knew that even if the match had been lost, my daughter would have still been a winner. And even though she got her libero spot after that game and kept it throughout the season, I know that victory was one that she and I will always remember. This week, look for ways that your child exhibits a victory of character and tell him how proud you are. And then, leave a comment; I’d love to hear about it.
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