Michelle Gable, Writer

Michelle Gable, Writer

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Sportsmanship (never mind the sports…)

July 1, 2013 , ,

I have softball on the brain today (as opposed to every other day always this summer so far).

BronzeWinnersMy daughters played their 8U District Championship for All Stars this past weekend. After starting the tournament an amazing 3-0 the team ended up placing 3rd in the District. Very exciting, and much better than anyone expected at the start of All Stars. We weren’t even going to enter Districts as we didn’t think we’d have the chops. Alas, despite this achievement we were one win away from making States (top two teams go), which stung. We lost by one and my oldest daughter was thrown out at first with two on for the final out of the game. There was a lot of crying. Also, some of the players cried too.

I’m proud of my daughters. The youngest for playing up a division and still hanging in there even as the baby of the team. My oldest absolutely shone at 1st base and at bat. I feel a little sad, but mostly because I want them to keep playing. They love it. I’ve loved it. The coaches love and inspire the girls. The other families are awesome. The players are the sweetest; the exact kind of girls you want YOUR kids hanging out with.

Over the course of All Stars we played a lot of teams, a lot of tough teams, a lot of highly coached teams. And there were some dirty plays. Girls blocking bases. Other teams giving our girls a little shove. People refusing to do the end-of-game “we’re so proud of you” cheer. Not our girls though. There wasn’t a sweeter, more genuine, more big-hearted team out there. (Or blonder, or cuter…) No one had sportsmanship down like this group.

After the last game a friend told me about this video. Get your tissues ready.

The competition carried her around the bases, y’all.

Here’s the funny thing about competition. You’re going to face it no matter what you’re going after: writing, athletics, being the best damned bean counter in the accounting department. And in any given game or head-to-head situation there will be one winner and one loser. But, as with anything, you have to take the long view. The long view is this: the pie is not limited.

You can be the best hitter on the team. This does not take away from the other hitters. Your friend can sell a million copies of her book. This does not mean you can’t or you won’t or it in any way affects the outcome of your book. Nor does it mean you should secretly wish for her to be exposed in a plagiarizing scandal.

We can all win. Not any given game or tournament or situation and losing sometimes is not so bad either. But if  you take the long view we can all find some level of success (whatever the definition and in whatever venue: work, family, field, other). That doesn’t mean we will win even most of the time (hellloooo Chargers). But we all can. And we can all do it with grace, carrying and supporting one another, even the very people we’d like to beat. Plus winning doesn’t always mean winning in its strictest sense, right? Just ask the “losing” team in that video.

What do you think?

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