A Trophy For Everyone? Absolutely NOT!

2327243497_b0b6baede9_z18 am PST, I was racing out of my hotel room to catch a flight back to New York. It was a big Friday; I had just come off the successful taping of a TV show but that was not the reason it was monumental. It was huge because this was the day my daughter would find out whether she made the volleyball team.

Last year, Casey made the freshman team, a rather heady accomplishment given this was her first foray into team sports. The night after the cuts were announced, I was talking to several mothers whose daughters did not make the team; they felt that everyone should have been put on the squad, a concept that made me bristle.  And I told them so.. yes I did.

I continue to stand by my conviction, even after the phone call Friday morning from 3 time zones away, with my sobbing daughter telling me she didn’t make the JV squad.


Of course, I felt like the worst mother in the world; here I was in sunny Southern California while my first born was standing under her very own rain cloud. And as much as I wanted to email the coach, plead her case, to tell her how good Casey was and inform her of the very grave mistake she was making by passing on my clearly talented daughter, I did not.


Because not everyone deserves a trophy.

Now here’s the part that might blow your mind a little. I maintain that not making the team was good for Casey, providing some invaluable (albeit painful) life lessons.

  • It’s Not A Dead End, It’s A Detour 1 of 7
    It's Not A Dead End, It's A Detour
    I told Casey her father and I would do what we needed to do to help her succeed. If that meant spending money on volleyball camp or whatever else, we were willing to do it but that she had to take ownership. That meant asking questions of the coach to assess her performance, doing the research and presenting to us the camp that would help her most. Her chances of success are greater if she owns the solution. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • What It Takes To Be A Champion 2 of 7
    What It Takes To Be A Champion
    One of the things that shocked Casey was that some freshmen made the team. She assumed (incorrectly) that they would not and was surprised when they did. I explained the coach had a job to do; to field the best squad she could, no matter their class. You don't get a gold medal for time and grade. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • This Is A Defining Moment 3 of 7
    This Is A Defining Moment
    Like a lot of teens, Casey and her brother have had it pretty good. This experience could do one of two things: it could hobble her or teach her what it takes to be a competitor. I am extremely proud to say, it is the latter. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • How To Handle Disappointment 4 of 7
    How To Handle Disappointment
    As much as I want to take away the pain, I have to remember my job as a parent is to equip my kids for life outside my front door. That means teaching them how to handle disappointment, not trying to protect them from every one of life's bumps in the road. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • Attitude RULES! 5 of 7
    Attitude RULES!
    This is flagged as a big Life Lesson. I told Casey a coach ( and employer) will take someone with less talent but a great attitude over an enormous pain in the butt, brimming with natural ability. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • There’s Always A Work Around 6 of 7
    There's Always A Work Around
    To that end, I told my daughter to meet with the coach to see if she could practice with the team, be an alternate or serve in some other capacity. photo credit: Rene Syler
  • I’ll always be there for her 7 of 7
    I'll always be there for her
    But I won't fight her battles. As I said I really wanted to call the coach and have seen parents do exactly that. But that would not teach Casey anything except how to expect me to ride in to save the day. I told her I would help her figure out what to say to the coach, even attend the meeting with her but she would call it and she would do the talking. photo credit: Rene Syler

Nice to meet you! You can find out more about me on my blog, Good Enough Mother.

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Article Posted 4 years Ago
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