Monday, December 8, 2008

Choose Joy: Even when it's not easily found

One ejected hockey player, standing on the bench unable to play. Yes, that is our Cole.

Two ejected hockey players, standing on the bench, unable to play. Glad Cole got company!

Our boys really enjoyed playing in the 2008 Toronto Royals Challenge Cup tournament this past weekend. They met a number of strong Minor Pee Wee "A" level teams. That is one level up from where our boys normally play. It was good for them and their development to play faster, stronger, tougher, more aggressive teams.

After all, it is about development.

Every once in a while, I have to remind myself (and Louis) that they are, after all, eleven year old boys. Boy are they ever good! They make plays, have fancy moves and really "get" the game. Some kids are big - like Cole; and others are not so big - like the boy next to Cole in the photo above. No matter the size of the boy they all have big hearts. They are all equally driven to play hard, support each other and win as often as they can.

We lost this game, the semi-final, to a great London team. We had to beat four other strong "A" teams to get to this game. We even beat the Sarnia team who eventually made it to the finals. In the end, this London team won the tournament. As well they should have. They were very good. Well coached, well conditioned and aggressive. (One parent was a bit obnoxious, but one dad in four games wasn't bad!)

It was a tough tournament; once the boys won the three games in the Round Robin, I think they thought they were invincible. Oh how I wish, for them, that they were.

The best part? The sign that my boy is growing up? He did not blame the referee for his suspension - the ref can only call what he sees and though the other player turned and it was not an intentional hit from behind, it was seen that way and it is an automatic ejection and suspension from your next game.

The second sign, and the reason for my joy, he never blamed himself for the loss in the semi-finals. I think he's finally growing up and realizing that it is a team sport. A game.

Love my boy. Love this game. Love the lessons learned.

No comments: