December 22, 2015

How Youth Sports Strengthens Home and Family

I believe we are your typical run of the mill type of family. There is no lack for sibling rivalry, bloody noses or he said she said in our home.  Plenty of mean words and not doing to others as you would have them do to you. But the final 7th grade basketball game of the season bonded our family like nothing else ever has.

When basketball season began I was pretty much a crazy mom trying to run kids around, keep up on house work and meals, not to mention running the ranch while the Ranch Hand was away supporting it with his day job. The whole family got pretty tired and cranky from late night games and waiting for after school practices to get over. 

The oldest cowgirl got a basketball hoop and ball for her birthday last summer. She practiced quite a bit in the barn, but because of the position of the hoop and the rafters, only a few long shots are possible. However it seems to me that learning to shoot over and through rafters may be the key to three pointers. It was the final few minutes of the first half when our Cowgirl took her first shot. It was one of those super far three pointers that as a parent you are half looking through your fingers hoping it doesn't air ball because this IS 7th grade, girls basketball after all. It was like time slowed down as the ball flew towards the hoop, spinning all the way, and then... SNAP. That wonderful sound of the net snapping, not a swoosh, or a backboard shot, but that infinite sound of the snapping net. It. Was. Awesome. Our whole family was on our feet! The Ranch Hand and I couldn't believe it! We just kept looking at each other and screaming. So ok, that's cool right? Well it could've been luck... but she did it again, and then one more time just barely in front of the three point line, making it a very long two pointer for a 7th grade girl. Our family was a buzz in the bleachers, talking about how practicing that one shot over and over in the barn because there was no where else to shoot from... had come in so handy.

The drive home was what really brought our family together. Who says living vicariously through your children isn't fun? It is! We talked about it in fine detail the whole ride home. I heard each of the younger children say, "I want to play basketball like "Cowgirl"." "I hope I'm as good as "Cowgirl" when I play basketball." "That was so cool "Cowgirl"!"  I even hear the oldest Cowboy say to someone, "My sister was the one that made a bunch of three pointers for the 7th grade." I'd never felt feelings like that between our kids before. So far it has been the single most thing that has strengthened our family.

Basketball season is tuff on our family. It requires all of us to sacrifice our time and energies for that one child. But what is sacrifice after all? It is giving up something good for something better. I can't believe I'm saying it, but I truly believe that having your kids in sports, attending their performances together and cheering for each other will strengthen your home and family. Any child can get good at anything they practice and work for. Why not strengthen your family through extra curricular activities? It is fun and you may discover benefits you never knew existed.

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