Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Loser 101

Winning is overrated. Losing might be the new "it."

Lately I have been watching a lot of losing at little league baseball. As a mom, I have run out of cheery things to say. But to truly appreciate winning, I think you need to lose a lot.

I see my son tap his pitcher on the head and give words of encouragement. He never would have done that before had he not known what it’s like to walk 20 batters in a row. I see him cheer his teammates on for the tiny victories, even though they may be down by 10 runs. He has come to know how important little things can be. Little things done well, strung together make a good game.

Then I see my kid throw a perfect pitch. He would not know it’s true perfection if he hadn’t thrown a lot of awful pitches. I watch him swagger back to the mound. I witness his confidence soar. Only he and I know how many afternoons we have spent throwing that ball back and forth. All those days where we mimicked plays, with pretend stress-filled moments. Mom was the umpire those days as I belted out my best impersonation of a passionate blue yelling “STRRRRRikeee.”

Now he hears the real thing.

Winning is sweet. But it’s in the losing that we come to know it’s taste. I think losing well takes more character and guts than winning with style. And that makes it not so bad after all.