When Not Making the Team Is a Victory

November 24, 2014 6:03 PM

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This past week, my son, Toby, was pretty much my hero. He tried out for his school's basketball team knowing that he had almost no chance of making it. The team is made up of sixth, seventh and eighth graders, and my son is a sixth grader who is one of the youngest in his class. On top of that, Toby is late to the game. While most of his friends began playing basketball in kindergarden, he just started last year -- baseball has always been his sport. Most of them play on travel basketball teams, while Toby has only played one season of basketball for the local rec team -- a highly noncompetitive team. Also, some of the main qualities one needs to be a good basketball player -- speed and aggression -- are not areas of strength for my son.

Despite all of that, my son decided to try out for the school basketball team. The tryouts involved a grueling two hours of drills every day after school for a week. The tryouts also involved a dreaded two-mile run around the school fields in the freezing cold. But Toby decided he was up for the cha...

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