‘Was it my fault?’ My kid missed a play we practiced 100 times and cost his team the game.’: Mom reminds us sports are about ‘love for the game,’ claims ‘my son’s efforts are never wrong’

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“My kid didn’t hit the homerun today.

This time, my kid was the one who let the ball roll right between his legs with bases loaded in the last inning of the last game of the season.

My kid missed a play that we practiced a hundred times the day before

and when it happened, everything inside my overly-competitive self screamed.

I wanted to scream at him.

I was so angry.

I was embarrassed that my kid’s misstep cost us the game.

He’s 7.

I simmered as he packed up his things.

I thought—

‘Of all the times to miss the play
does he even realize what he just did
that cost his team the game,’

and as he walked out of the dugout with shrugged shoulders and confusion on his face, he asked me,

‘Was it my fault?’

and I felt a shameful sinking feeling when I realized that I had a choice.

I had a choice to dwell on this moment of frustration and forget a season of base hits.

I had a choice to let the outcome of a 3-second play ruin the remainder of my son’s day or fuel his passion to celebrate, even when finishing in second place.

I had a choice to badmouth a coach and point a finger or make this a learning moment.

I had a choice to be embarrassed of my kid for one mistake or point out his many highlights.

I had a choice to bury last week’s grand slam under my current disappointment.

My kid wasn’t the one who hit the homerun today.

He wasn’t the one who made the tough play.

But you see, every day can’t be a homerun day, or even a .300 day.

And it’s my job to let go of the ‘my kid has to be the best’ mentality in favor of age-appropriate actions for little league.

This phase we’re in?

It’s less about the plays we don’t make and all about developing a love for the game.

There will come a time to drill harder, relive the replays, and be super focused on correcting the mistakes,

but even as an adult, I have more than my fair share of error-filled days

and I know he wanted more than anyone to make that play.

I don’t always make the right choice,

but acknowledging my son’s effort has never felt wrong,

and neither has choosing grace.

Not every day will be a homerun day or even a .300 day

but he makes me proud all the days.”

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Courtesy of Whitney Ballard

This story was submitted to Love What Matters by Whitney of Trains and Tantrums. You can follow her journey on Facebook and Instagram. Submit your own story here and be sure to subscribe to our free email newsletter for our best stories.

Read more from Whitney:

‘You know what I love? Friends who don’t make this friend thing complicated.’: Woman ‘thankful’ for friends who ‘don’t set unrealistic expectations’ of her

‘Kids shouldn’t have kids.’ Shame spread over me. As a teen, I couldn’t hide my big belly.’: Teen mom explains why she ‘kept her baby’ at 16-years-old

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