Your Kids Sports As A Magnifying Glass On You
I always find this time of year interesting…the start of hockey and hockey evaluations! For those of you who know me and know what I do, you know that being your true self and living in integrity is of highest importance to me. What I have discovered is that the sports that your kids are involved in can be a fantastic reflection of whether you are living up to your expectations of yourself.
This applies to all sports, whether its soccer, dance, swimming, lacrosse, etc, but for my family and me it boils down to hockey…the all Canadian Sport! Now, I’m the first to admit that I’m not much of an avid sports fan (much to my husband’s dismay), and I don’t consider myself a highly competitive person, therefore being involved in my son’s hockey has turned out to be a very enlightening experience.
The last few years have really opened my eyes to what a wonderful learning platform hockey can be. What it has done is that it has become a benchmark for whether I am living up to my standards of who I want to be, and how I want to conduct my life. Now having said this, I do keep myself far removed from a lot of the aspects of the sport, but nevertheless, I have found that there is still much learning to be derived from the sport if one pays attention to how you act and respond to situations.
There is no avoiding the fact that we live in a physical world that places emphasis on being more, doing more, wanting more, and having more…and hockey is no exception to that. In parents drive to have their kids do and be their best, there are some boundary lines that get blurred at times. So when parents push too hard or get over-involved, we need to ask ourselves – Who is this for? For the child or the parent? Of course we say that we are doing it for the best interest of our child, but are we?
At the beginning of my son’s hockey “career” (Timbits!), I was blissfully oblivious to the competitive qualities that can be triggered by the evaluation process. By the time Novice hit, I got my first taste of the importance some parents place on having their child placed close to or on the top. Not expecting this, I have to admit it threw me off balance a bit.
At one point when having my son’s placement questioned, I immediately was thrown into the protective mother mode, and all of a sudden I had a vested interest in where he was going to be placed. Prior to that I was fully content in my belief that he would be placed where it was best for him……and then ego kicked in!
Thankfully, I did not stay in that ego- mode of thinking very long, and realized quickly that this was a great learning opportunity. It made me evaluate whether I was coming from my “higher self” or from my “ego.” Now being more of a veteran with the process, I have come to view the whole thing through the lens of whether I am living up to my standards of conduct, or if I need to tweak them a bit. I find the whole process is a great magnifying glass for what is going on, how you are thinking, and how you are responding in your life on a larger scale.
I thoroughly enjoy the hockey season, since I think it creates a great sense of community and sportsmanship. However, I think it is also important to keep in mind that sports can also be a breeding ground for the ego. With that being said, if you decide to use it as a magnifying glass on your life it is a great way to check in on yourself! Some food for thought.