The Bigger Picture

This year is the first year for being on the sideline watching my seven year old daughter play travel soccer.  I can now say that I know the feeling of being a parent on the sideline with a child in competitive game.    It’s a nervous, excited, happy, torturous feeling that if you are competitive person can make you crazy inside. 

I began the season by myself on the sideline, a move I learned by watching my old man who rarely sat or stood with others.  Recently, I have become more vocal on the sideline, and in my mind feel like I can help our win-less team of spirited girls play better fun and hopefully learn more soccer. 

The truth is that the girls, like our girls high school team, seems unfazed after each loss.  Cartwheels, plans for play-dates, promises of ice cream are often the topics after games. This Saturday was memorable given a regrettable interaction that I was involved in. 

Short story, I stood in the 2nd half on the opposing team’s side of the field and shouted words of encouragement and coaching for our goalie and lead defender.  I happened to be wearing a whistle and “looked” like a coach.  The other parents didn’t like what I was doing and an argument ensued.   After I attempted to share my point of view, I moved back to ‘our side’ of the field.

What did I learn?  I didn’t feel great, I missed some of the game action, and I’m responsible for the interaction and my behavior.  Another thing, whether or not I think I can impact the game from the sidelines really doesn’t matter and I need to learn how to control those feelings inside.

A trusted adviser shared that I’ll learn about the bigger picture over time. With the long road ahead I think I can already see the ups and downs and things will undoubtedly get more competitive.  Another friend just shared with me a lesson from the 7 Spiritual Laws of Success, written by Deepak Chopra.  He writes that we must “relinquish the attachment” to what we want to acquire.  Whether it be an elected official, a goal for our 7 year old soccer team, we must remove the attachment to what we want in order to remove the feelings associated.  Deepak writes, “In detachment lies the wisdom of uncertainty…in the wisdom of uncertainty lies the freedom from the past, from the known, which is the prison of past conditioning.” I’m up for more wisdom and happy to have learned the lesson.