AWHOLE NEWKIND OF COURT
I’ll admit, I never thought I’d be one for March Madness. Basketball just never interested me while I was growing up — tennis has always been my passion. But, as often happens in parenting, my kids have ended up teaching me a thing or two. Thanks to them, I’m now a proud basketball mom. It wasn’t an easy transition. When I went to watch my eldest daughter’s first game, I was mortified — the physicality of the sport is unbelievable. Compared to tennis, where you enjoy a degree of separation from your opponent on the court, basketball seemed like an all-out brawl. Thankfully, as I’ve grown more familiar with the rules and fast pace of the game, I no longer cringe; I just cheer. In fact, we’ve started to go to college games as a family now. Coincidentally, while my daughter and son both really got into the sport, FSU began establishing themselves as a formidable basketball team — it’s a good thing, too, given their recent football performance. So, now we’ll make the trip to Tallahassee to root on the Seminoles, which is always an exciting bonding experience. But the most profound experience I’ve had from the stands has been watching my daughter grow as a player. She was initially recruited for her height, having previously been a cross-country runner. As she adopted the sport, she’s had to learn to deal with setbacks and work through injuries. Watching her push past these obstacles and succeed has
been an incredible experience. It’s clear she’s learned a lot along the way.
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My daughter and I actually had a conversation about athletics recently, and how hard work isn’t always rewarded the way it is in academics. In school, we’re taught that as long as you put your nose to the grindstone, you can get A’s. But in sports, some elements are always beyond your control, including referees and the way your body is built. Sometimes people are just gifted, and you have to work twice as hard to keep up with them. It’s a very adult lesson to learn and one I think better prepares kids for adulthood than any standardized test. Even in an academic field like law, you have to learn there will always be unknowns. Adjusting to different judges and even to facts of a case mean attorneys have to be flexible; they aren’t in control of everything. More importantly, they have to learn how to push through despite factors that may work against them. Watching the way my daughter has learned to roll with the punches has made me realize how much she’s grown. She’s gained a better sense of herself, and that maturity shows both on and off the court. So, I’m more than happy to be cheering her on from the bleachers — regardless of the sport, she’s already won in my book.
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