New experiences can be daunting, especially when you’re five years old. But “new” isn’t a reason to pass on an opportunity.
A few years back, I coached my daughter’s soccer team. If you watch the first few games of the any season – for kindergartners – you see some very inspiring moments of courage and trust. Moments that could easily wipe-away half of our excuses in the adult world.
It’s inevitable … first game … someone doesn’t want to go on the field. There are tears, maybe a pep talk, and eventually … hopefully … a first time on the field. It might only last a few seconds but it happened. Second game … maybe no tears but definitely a pep talk and possibly an ice cream after the game. Third game … no tears and possibly a smile. And always voices of support and encouragement from the sideline. You can do it. Great try. Keep going. Good hustle.
Between the third and fourth game … there was a single moment that changed everything. The local sporting goods store has a huge selection of shoe laces. I turn to my daughter and she asks “Can I pick out a pair of shoelaces?” … light bulb … I smile and say “Yes, any pair you want. But you have to make me a promise. When you’re wearing those shoelaces – you run hard, always try your best, but most importantly, you enjoy every step you take. Deal?” She picks a pair of rainbow shoelaces – we have a deal.
Game four. Rainbow shoelaces tied tight and not a teardrop in sight. She asks to be on the first line. She’s on the field and a natural. I overhear one of the other parents say “clearly, she’s the coach’s daughter.”
I look at my daughter. She’s out of breath and smiling ear-to-ear.
I smile. I know. Rainbow shoelaces.
She played the game on her terms today and loved every moment. It was game time!
No excuses, good intentions, and a game plan.
The road to Cedar Point is traveled on our own terms and when we get there, it’s game time!