This week was the final week of softball for my youngest daughter and her team. They practiced hard with a single purpose: do well at their final tournament of the season.
This one day tournament wasn’t just any tournament. It was on their home field.
My daughter came home after their Tuesday night practice with high hopes for their chances. “If we win 3 games we win the tournament. We can win 3 games,” she said. She was confident… but not cocky.
I wish I could say I had her outlook on the tournament.
It’s true that they have been playing better every game but I was skeptical at their chances. Especially seeing the teams they would be playing. Teams from bigger towns.
They didn’t seem to phase my daughter. She continued to say that they had an excellent chance to win the whole thing.
The first game came and they started out on fire. They were making plays, cheering each other on, and having fun. The final score was 10-3 and our girls were pumped.
I was pumped too. They were playing some great ball. “Dad! We only have to win two more games and we win the tournament!” was one of the first things my daughter said to me after the game.
Game 2 started with a high level of enthusiasm… for both the players and coaches… and us parents in the stands. There were some tense moments but in the end we pulled away, winning 9-2.
“Dad! We only have to win one more game and we win the tournament!” By now I was starting to catch some of my daughter’s confidence but still there was a tiny nugget of doubt in the back of my mind.
We’d be facing a tough team in the third game… a team that was also 2-0 on the day.
Our girls came out swinging. They were hitting the ball well and making some outstanding plays. They were making the plays that we’d missed earlier in the season. This team wanted to win and were playing like it.
As our lead grew… along with our chances of winning… I couldn’t help but remember the countless times over the course of the week I’d heard, “All we have to do is win 3 games and we win the tournament. We can win 3 games.”
I was beating myself up mentally for doubting my daughter and her team. Almost as bad as the team was beating up on our final opponent. We won 12-1!
Our girls were all smiles, high fives, and laughter! It was a fun thing to watch. The progress they made over the course of the season was tremendous. It’s a product of hard work, teamwork, and good coaching. What a great way to wrap up the season.
My take-away from the week? I wish I could think more like a tween.
Over-thinking and over-analyzing are my specialty. While I was preoccupied with teams, towns, and past play… the only thing my daughter was focused on was the number 3.
Win three games. Win the tournament. Break it down to the basics and it didn’t seem insurmountable.
My doubt, my daughter’s confidence, and her team’s success all led to this week’s Bible verse. It’s one I’ve shared before but it’s one that I really felt fit; Philippians 4:13(NLT).