I’m a pretty passionate sports supporter and can at times get a little carried away and like to offer advice to the referee through the TV. I’m convinced that if the ref listened just a touch harder, he could probably hear me even if he was on another continent. Jaime DOESN’T get it and has told me on numerous occasions “it’s JUST a game, dad”! Poor soul, she still has so much to learn. Callum on the other hand gets it 100%! He is as big a sports nut as I am and often throws in the “COMMMMON REF” and fist pumps the air when our team scores.
When I introduced the kids to Wii Sports, Callum took to it like a fly to poo. He was beating his sister almost from the get go and soon gave his more forgiving mother a run for her money too. But I remain a good challenge and, of course, have to keep my 3 year old humble. Callum really enjoys the boxing and, when he started out, the opposition wasn’t great and victory came easy. As he improved, however, it became more challenging and the fateful day finally arrived when he lost his first ever boxing game. The poor boy looked at us like a sad little panda and as the tears rolled down his cheeks his little heart shattered. He literally couldn’t handle the loss!
I saw this as the perfect opportunity to teach Callum about sportsmanship. It was time to teach him that, although victory is a great feeling, it is very important to learn how to lose. No matter how good we are, sooner or later we will lose! Someone out there will come and beat you. I could list a stack of professionals in any sport that were the greatest, but every single one of them has experienced losing. They have also said it’s the time they have learnt the most about themselves as well as their sport of choice. After calming Callum down, I showed him how to “float like a butterfly and sting like a bee” and soon he was winning again. He now knows how to duck and time his counter attacks instead of rage ahead with a full throttle attack!
So many lessons can be learnt from sports that I often don’t see it as just a game! Sport teaches us how to be gracious in defeat, to get up and try again (perseverance), to accept lose as part of life, and to improve from our mistakes. I truly believe that teaching my kids to win gracefully and accept losing will set them up for life, not just sports!
Are your kids sporty? How do they handle losing?