I would like to take a moment to remind all of us what is the primary purpose of these in-house tournaments. In our conditioned minds it is easy to slip into the automatic place that competition=winning and losing. Although this component is a definite factor in these tournaments, it is not the primary one.
This age group of 6-12 year olds is in a middle of an important moment of emotional development that will carry on into their adult lives. What builds emotional stability and maturity is experiencing the ability to face challenge with an open mind and spirit, not automatically assuming it is too hard or even impossible. Children who build the capacity to face challenge with comfort, even when the odds are high, will become adults who are able to persevere in a challenging world.
Every match brings an opportunity for all who are participating to gain experience and learn something for the next time. I ask that we keep this in the forefront of your encouragement for your children, both for those who are new and just beginning their journey and those who are seasoned with lots of experience. Yes, we all strive to win.
However, when the odds might seem to not be in one’s favor, encourage that child to do his/her best, help him/her make a goal of what he/she wants to focus on in the match, or any other way to embrace the opportunity to grow and learn. Let’s keep helping our children grow by emphasizing the positive aspects of this wonderful journey.