Milestone : Vai’s First Tennis Competition (Teaching Kids Sportsmanship)
Vai is 7 years and 2 months old right now, and last weekend he had a ‘real’ tennis competition.
A big milestone for him, and for us.
I called it a ‘real’ competition, because it’s not about playing tennis against kids within his tennis school.
It’s about playing against other kids (all were under 8yo) who came from other cities (eg. Bandung, Semarang, Samarinda)
And, it was a whole new learning experience for him (and for me)
For the first time, I watched my kid competed in a tournament, and I admit, I cheered and went ‘JIA YO!’ when Vai hit the ball real well.
Not that elegant of me, but I didn’t care. I was one supportive mom! =)
Well, I soon found out that there must be NO noise (however encouraging!) when they’re till playing! Oops! =)
Okay. Lesson learned.
PS: Yeah I watch tennis matches on TV, but I somehow forgot about how spectators are all quiet when the players are playing =)
Vai played in singles and doubles.
And he managed to go as far as getting into the Semi Finals (doubles).
Which to us, was a great achievement already!
Now, when it comes to sports and competitions, this is what Wilson and I believe in (and what we instill in our kids so far):
- It’s not just about winning.
Of course we must always practice to our best capability, and strive to win, BUT even if you didn’t win, it’s okay as long as you’ve done your best. ie. We won’t love you ‘less’ simply because you don’t win the games.
- In life, there are times when we can be playful, and there are times when we need to serious and focused.
Being in a tournament is one such time when we must learn to focus and concentrate and do our best.
(This is something that Vai learned a lot, because he did have the tendency to get distracted easily)
What’s more important is though, we must never give up- We must never focus on just competing and beating the other team.
We must learn and apply what positive sportsmanship on court is like, eg. We must learn to not be angry / verbally abusive towards the winning team. If they did well and win, then learn to shake their hands and genuinely congratulate them. And, if we win, don’t be a smug! Respect the other team.
- We must always be eager to do our best, in everything, including in tournaments.
- Things in life don’t always go according to our expectation.
What’s more important is though, we must never give up. We must learn to NOT talk negatively to self too when we seem to not do well in the match (because it’ll distract you from playing better towards the end. You know, if the game has not ended, there’s still a chance to win)
So much to learn, huh?
Well, those things are what Wilson and I TRY to apply in our lives too (of course, our own learning journey is still looongg)
And so, they are the values that we instill in our kids. Naturally.
Ah I think, it’s just great that Vai was in that tournament, because it is through such events that he (and us) could experience and learn.