Wrestling is hard.
It’s hard on the kids – it takes strength and courage to get out on the mat and be the center of attention. There is a lot of adrenaline running through these kids and when the matches end, usually the winner and loser are crying.
It’s hard on the parents – one on one matches are difficult to watch, especially when your kid isn’t winning. And watching anyone’s kid get hurt is awful.
My boys have a love/hate relationship with wrestling. They love practice. They love their team, their coaches, the intensity of the workouts they get and how it transforms them.
They hate tournaments. They say they’re too long (they are), there’s a lot of waiting around (there is), and everyone else is better than them (they’re not).
Jack and Michael have been wrestling in a private club for about a year now, and it’s easy to tell them apart from the kids who have been doing it since they were three. Yes, three.
So, we don’t win them all. There are a lot of tears. But… when they win, they win. The coaches celebrate each victory of every wrestler, the parents celebrate together, and the kids are as excited about their teammate’s victories as they are their own.
These photos were taken during Jack’s first win.
He arrived at the tournament in tears, not wanting to wrestle. His coach asked him to wrestle just one match, which turned into another, and then one more. He cried through the matches, but never gave up.
Three of his coaches and his Dad were celebrating each victory during his final match – the one that ended in his first win.
You can read the entire story here, but here are the pictures that tell it (a few are blurry, I apologize).
And yes, I still need a box of Kleenex when looking at these:
More exciting than the win itself, Jack realized that he was part of a team that believed in him.
From tears in the morning to big smiles in the afternoon. We were able to show Jack that if he doesn’t give up, and if he tries his hardest, he will succeed. Those teaching moments don’t always happen so quickly.
All of those months of practice had paid off, and the confidence that came after the win was an amazing thing to watch. My older son had his first pin that same day, so you can imagine the tears that were flowing around here.
I’d love to hear about your favorite sports moment that required Kleenex – we have learned to carry a box in our wrestling bag!
Get a Kleenex custom oval BOGO until 11/15/12, just use the code PLAYOFFS at checkout on the MyKleenex site. I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective, and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.