Instilling Grit and How To SHOW UP.

GehrigEvalsLast night I had a pretty cool opportunity to teach my 12-year old son a little about grit, and the importance of showing up. His 3rd & final round of ice hockey player evaluations was set for 7:50 PM. He performed really well in the first two rounds. I was proud of his effort and focus.

He was hit with some adversity.
He stayed home from school yesterday after getting sick in the middle of the night and early morning. He’s had a cough & allergies acting up for a couple days now. He stayed in bed much of the day but was able to eat and my wife kept him hydrated with water & a couple bottles of Rehydrate OTG.

At 7:00, he didn’t really want to/feel like going to his evaluations. He said he was tired. Since he had been eating and drinking for the past 10 hours, I felt that he would be OK to go to his evaluations.

I just had a gut feeling that this would be an awesome teachable moment for him.
We talked about the importance of seeing things through & finishing. We talked about digging deep to find that desire and determination to pull him through tough moments like this when he’s not feeling the best.

Sometimes the hardest thing in the world to do is to SHOW UP.

The easy thing would have been to stay at home on the couch & go to bed early. But that wouldn’t help him build upon his great performances and effort in the first two rounds. That wouldn’t help him reach his goal.

I told him that he has made it into the top grouping of players battling for spots on the top two teams. A1 & A2.

“The spot you want is there for the taking.” I said. “You just have to go and get it. But you can’t do that unless you show up to claim it.”

He decided to go and give it his best shot. I couldn’t have been prouder last night. We’ll have to wait and see if it was good enough to get a spot on the A1 team or not. But at least he’ll know that he earned whatever spot he gets and there won’t be any room for second guesses or “what ifs.”

The best part about last night is that I believe he will be able to pull from that experience for the rest of his life. In 20 years from now when he’s tired, not feeling great & really wanting to cancel an important meeting with a potential new client, he’ll reflect back to last night and remember how rewarding it feels to dig deep and SHOW UP, even when you don’t feel like it. And hopefully that meeting will change his life.

Opportunities and moments like these are why I love youth sports.