No Team Here

I had planned to write about something else today. Something cheerful and happy. Instead, I just got off the phone and feel like crying.

Last year one of my boys played on a winter basketball recreation league. We were invited through a friend who knew the coach. It was an eight game season with one practice a week. Being his first season, my son was hesitant at first but came to love going to practices. He always had a smile on his face and always followed directions.

My son was not the best on the team, the son’s coach was. My son didn’t play all the time, the coach’s son did. 

But.

My son never cried on the court, the coach’s son did. My son never threw a fit in a game,  the coach’s son did.

My son was just thrilled to be on the court. He once said to me, “Mom, one day I’m going to play in the NBA.” He barely touched the ball during games but he thought he was a star.

For the past month I knew registration for winter basketball must be approaching. Today I looked on the website and saw that the registration deadline ends in two days. We never got an email from the coach.

Good riddance I thought. We’ll get on another team.

But suddenly the tail end of a conversation made sense to me.

Last week at soccer practice I walked up on a conversation between our soccer coach and two moms. I heard, “So they’ll both play?” The response was, “Yes.” The coach then quickly walked away.

Fast forward to today when I called one of those moms and asked if their son is playing basketball. She awkwardly told me the coach had asked her son to play on his team for the upcoming season. Outwardly I was laughing and making light of the issue but I had tears forming.

Again, someone doesn’t want my kid on their team. It feels like shit – I want to scream and shout and say, “You’re missing out on a great kid! He wants to play!”

What happened to “we are a team,” or “every person on this team is valuable?”

Joining a team at six should not be about ability, it should be about fun. Yes, you can learn techniques and be excited about wins but a bigger message should rise above it all. Sports are fun and can be for everyone. Sadly, the adults involved are forgetting this message.

Ever gone through this?

 

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It’s been a week since I wrote the post above. Though still annoyed, my husband and I have found another avenue for our son to play basketball.  We have signed him up with a Christian youth league where the emphasis is on everyone playing and having fun. While we feel really hopeful that this will be a positive place for him to be, it hasn’t stopped me from making snide internal comments to the soccer coach during the last two weeks of practice.

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