We recently started a new school year, as I’m sure all the parents out there reading are already aware. A couple weeks ago, I wrote about how important establishing good routines are for getting wins in the classroom, but the classroom isn’t the only place I teach. The last couple years, I’ve also been coaching junior high sports, in particular coaching the grade 5-6 football team. This has been a challenge for me on a few levels, but also a source of great joy and education for me.
I am not the most hard core, competitive person in the world. At least, outwardly. I tend to cope with my need for victory by using self-deprecating humor and pretending really, really hard that a loss doesn’t bother me. I don’t know whether I’m any good at faking it, but I try. Needless to say, coaching flag football with a bunch of 11 and 12 year old children, most of whom have never played outside of recess or PE, does not put me in position to claim a whole lot of wins. In fact, last year, you had at least as many wins as we did. No, I’m not assuming you played. That’s right, it was a perfect season in reverse.
Fortunately, I’m not so competitive or sports crazed as to lose my mind with the kids working their tails off to improve just because we cant find any wins. Instead, I learned a lot about finding small victories and not obsessing over the wins and losses. I’ve been trying to incorporate that sense of victories instead of wins into other parts of my life, too. After talking to Joey Szolowicz on our last Highlights episode, I’ve been much more aware of valuing progress over perfection.
When I got up this morning and didn’t lay in bed for an extra 15 minutes? A little victory, heading for a big win.
Made my coffee instead of buying it? A little victory, aiming for that big win.
When a kid who didn’t know what the line of scrimmage was last year helps a kid in the same situation get lined up correctly without any judgement, just looking to help a teammate out? You know what? Forget it, that’s one of the big wins.