If your team wins, you win. Right?
Well, Julie hasn't quite grasped that concept yet. She's so hard on herself and so competitive, that if she doesn't feel she performs her very best, it's a loss. Even if it's a win.
A couple weekends ago Julie competed in a karate team sparring tournament. The fact that she made the team before earning her black belt was pretty impressive in and of itself. But, she's a tough girl and she enjoys sparring.
Side note: It's still so strange and nerve-wracking to watch your little girl throw punches, kick people and sometimes get kicked in the head.
This was the first team sparring tournament ever, and it was such a fun experience. Teams of five compete against each other tournament style. So if you lose one round, your knocked out of the tournament. Competitors go one at a time into the ring to spar the opposite team, and points are given for punches, kicks, jump kicks, etc. Then the points from each team member are combined to determine the winning team.
Julie's team came in first for the sparring competition. But she didn't feel like a winner. During her rounds, she didn't spar as well as she wanted, and didn't earn as many points as she hoped.
Though she cheered on her team members, at the end of the tournament she was bummed. She sulked, pouted and asked to go straight home instead of to a restaurant to celebrate.
Scott and I knew she was upset, but we didn't let her mope. This was a lesson in teamwork, sportsmanship and qualities that are so much important than winning.
We tried to explain that we didn't care whether she won or lost or how many points she scored. When you're on a team, it's so much more important to support your fellow team members and be a gracious loser and winner---even if in your heart, you were disappointed.
I think we finally got through to her a bit. I guess we never thought we'd have to teach our kids how to win, but sports are all about life lessons.