It’s been 12 years of preparation for this moment. 10 years before entering high school. Everything preparing him for the moment that starts today.
Why do we put our kids in Little League?
Do we feel like we have a lot of time on our hands? I’m sure as parents, we didn’t sit around one day thinking “I just have too much time on my hands. Let me sign my child up for little league sports!”
Or possibly we had more money than we knew what to do with. Just cash sitting around waiting to buy uniforms, shoes, club fees, tournament fees, and the list goes on and on.
So really, what does little league lead up to? Sure it keeps them active. For some, it keeps them out of trouble! It teaches them to work together as a team. Teaches them discipline, patience, and how to wait their turn.
But ultimately, all those little league practices, the games and meets, it was all to prepare them for high school.
Don’t get me wrong, sports teaches them valuable life lessons! But is that the only way that five to ten -year-olds can learn those life skills?
Not at all! We put them in Little League and give them the drive and the desire and the love of the sport. We signed them up for multiple sports because you never know which one they will really like! And kind of likes e trying new foods, you might not know if you like it until you try it.
Wrestling began for us after some kid in a church lobby that Jacob looked up to told him he thought he should wrestle. It began because one kid took the time to wrestle with Jacob in the hallway.
I knew nothing about Wrestling. I did not even really know other people that had wrestled. He wanted to go so I signed them up! And little did I know that 35 pound four-year-old child would grow into a 17-year-old junior in high school wrestling in the state championships!
I’ve spent hours upon hours upon hours sitting in bleachers in a hot, and usually smelly gym just waiting for Jacob’s few minutes on the mat. Sometimes those matches were less than a minute!
We had no idea what we were doing those first couple of years. Jacob was blessed with some fantastic coaches. Coaches that spent countless days in a gym sometimes just waiting for him to wrestle his final match. Coaches that let a scrawny elementary school boy climb all over them. They didn’t get paid. They gave their time for the love of the sport and the love of the kids. Coaches that lovingly took on the task of male role model for Jacob. His dad has never been to one wrestling match. And that’s OK! Jacob has never been lacking of solid male role models and for that I’m grateful. He said some pretty phenomenal coaches in both Wrestling and Soccer! Coaches that were hard on him when they needed to be and showed compassion when he needed that.
So here we are. Today is the day. In just a few short hours Jacob will head to the Matt to wrestle the first round of the 2017 Missouri state wrestling championship for class 4, 113 pounds! In order to finish in the top six places, he will have to beat kids that on paper, he shouldn’t beat.
Obviously, we are hoping and praying for him to be in the top six at the end of Saturday. But the reality is, even if that is not in the plan, and he loses the first two matches he wrestles, I could not be more proud of him. The fact that he is here and Wrestling in the state championships is quite an accomplishment.
All those days of cutting weight, running, spitting in a cup (if you know a wrestler you get it)… All of it in preparation for this moment.
As the mom, my nerves are shot. He doesn’t need to be nervous because I am nervous enough for both of us!
If you have kids that are still little and you wonder why you spend hours after hours after hours sitting at practices and games, it is worth it.
If you wonder why you’re paying for more pairs of athletic shoes then you do regular shoes, it is worth it.
If you were trying to decide if you have to tighten up your budget somewhere to pay for that club team, it is worth it.
Being on a team in high school is an amazing thing. I have found that Wrestiling families are truly families. I don’t know of another sport that every single meet is an all day or numerous hours event. Wrestling season usually means November through February or March of spending every Saturday and sometime Sunday in a gym.
Don’t be weary, enjoy every moment of the Little League. Pretty soon your kid will be driving. Pretty soon they won’t need you to take them to practice. So treasure every single moment and know that they are learning skills and preparing themselves for that moment in high school and all the moments in life after that.