Last night, my son tried out for his school’s 6th grade basketball team. I have to give him credit because I never tried out for any school sports’ teams. I don’t remember even thinking about trying out for a team. In my mind, I wasn’t good enough and I didn’t want to feel the rejection or embarrassment for not getting what I wanted.
Reflecting back on my life, I can think of many times that I didn’t try to do something because I didn’t think I was good enough. There were girls that I didn’t ask out, jobs I didn’t apply for and businesses I didn’t start. I didn’t do anything because I knew what the outcome would be. I’ve missed out on opportunities because I was scared of failing.
I was apprehensive about my son trying out for basketball because I had feelings that he might not make the team. I’ve written about past experiences where I doubted my kids’ awesomeness and learned my lesson about assuming that something would go a certain way.
What happens if he makes the team? Will his confidence levels shoot to the moon? Absolutely. Would he gain new basketball skills and improve his game? Definitely. This could provide very valuable life lessons and experiences for him.
What happens if he doesn’t make the team? Will he be disappointed? Sure. Will he be embarrassed in front of some of his friends? It’s possible. Will his confidence be shaken? Likely? But what if it’s an invaluable life lesson and he learns that he needs to practice and try harder? He didn’t make his 5th grade basketball team last year and since then, I’ve seen huge improvements in his basketball game. His confidence has skyrocketed.
Leading up to Ethan’s basketball try-outs last night, I kept quoting this famous line from Wayne Gretzky (even if I thought it was originally from Michael Jordan):
“You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” -Wayne Gretzky
Sometimes, we need to let our kids take risks even if we’re scared for them. They might just succeed.