Basketball tryouts are today. This morning, J asked H how practices have been going, and she said, “Fine, but you know, I probably won’t be starting for the A team this year.” Knowing her as I know her, I think she said that because she’s preparing herself, “just in case”. It’s a protection thing. If people think she’s not expecting it, they won’t feel sorry for her if she doesn’t start. J had an extended conversation with her (making her late for student advisory meeting) about not sitting back and accepting disappointments. He wants her to figure out ways to make it happen, not just sit back and accept it. She got a little bit emotional. This sport is the one thing she really enjoys, and is fairly good at. She could be even better with better coaching and more focus, but she’s the one who has to decide whether she wants to put in the time. She does go to a private coach on the weekends as well as “open gym” whenever she can, which has increased her confidence and skills tremendously. Of course, it’s got to be balanced with school work, family time, and social time with her friends, so it’s difficult. Two girls who have been on the team for the last 6 or 7 years decided not to try out yesterday. They haven’t put nearly the amount off time into it as most of the rest of the girls, so they’ve decided not to pursue it. It’s kind of sad, really, that in 8th grade they have to make choices about sports. So many kids do the off-season, travel ball thing in soccer, basketball, baseball, even volleyball. Makes you wonder if they’ll be able to continue at this rate or get burned out early. Sports for girls is good on so many levels…self-confidence, teamwork, exercise, etc… I just hope H will continue through High School.