Saw a reference to this blog post show up in my Twitter feed today, courtesy of @jbmthinks, and just had to pass it along even though it's not directly about fastpitch softball. It tells the tale of Olympic skiier Edie Thys Morgan and how she ultimately learned more from losing than winning -- and how losing made her a champion.
Yes, no doubt as a parent it's hard to watch your child lose, especially if it seems to be turning into a habit. I've certainly been there. We all want our own kids and our players to win and experience success. Yet if they're constantly the big fish in the small pond, sooner or later there will be a day of reckoning when they run up against other big fish who are better-prepared.
We've certainly all seen those tales of woe. A kid who was always the big gun (and therefore didn't have to work at it) gets passed by one who may not be as athletically gifted but has a better work ethic. It can be a real shocker for that player who is used to winning.
The same goes for teams that play in tournaments or leagues that don't challenge them so they can brag about how many trophies they won. We've all known them as well. If you're going to get better you have to challenge yourself, even if it means going home early on Sunday now and then. Because again, sooner or later you'll have to face that level of competition and it could be a real shocker if you haven't truly paid your dues.
In any case, check out the article. I think you'll find it really strikes a chord.