Glass Half Full: Wonderful sportsmanship among community’s youth | SierraSun.com

Glass Half Full: Wonderful sportsmanship among community’s youth

Ruth Glass
Special to the Bonanza

We live in a competitive society. Very young children frequently play on various teams, sponsored by youth organizations and supported by parents.

Many of them love it; some seem to be involved because their parents are making choices.

The question is always a hard one: When are we providing opportunities for our young ones and when are we wanting them to be who they might not be?

In a world where little of value comes easily, learning how to deal with competition is a necessary life skill

We all have varying skills; we can't all "podium" every time. Some of us are always going to be more successful than others.

In my mind, learning how to recognize our own strengths and weaknesses, as well as learning how to allow our children to have their own, is a very real and essential part of parenting.

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Those of us who have been involved in competitive sports — especially of our own choosing — never forget nor regret either the thrill of victory or the hard work that got us there.

Most of us can recall various rookie stages when we the learning curve seemed especially steep. All of us who competed on a high level, whether as part of team or individual sports, recognize and apply the life lessons and skills we learned in the process.

True competitors understand the value of good coaches, of setback, of pain, of teamwork, and of appreciation for other athletes.

It's the latter about which I write today. On the Friday that marked the beginning of Ski Week, both the Lake Tahoe School eighth-grade volleyball team and the seventh- and eighh-grade Incline Middle School teams participated in the Tah-Neva Championship Tournament.

To be honest, I had to leave before ultimate resolution of winners' and losers' brackets, though I was happy to see IMS continue to win after LTS had been eliminated.

What struck me most during the five games that I did watch was the wonderful support the girls on all three teams showed each other.

If LTS were playing while IMS was not, both IMS players and their parents cheered on LTS. When either IMS team was playing and LTS waiting for the next match, the same was true.

We were all Team Incline, and the girls set the tone. When they play each other, they fight for every point. They admire a good play, regardless of who made it.

The eighth-grade teams split matches this year. The level of play among the girls was impressive. Even more so was their sportsmanship. Like any good athletes, they inspire each other to play better.

Like true competitors, they look to themselves if they lose and recognize better play when they see it. We are raising strong young women who are not afraid to leave it all on the floor, as it were.

Neither are they afraid to support each other or to recognize when someone is stronger. We should all be proud.

Ruth Glass is headmaster at Lake Tahoe School. She can be reached for comment through her blog at http://www.laketahoeschool.org.