The Tournament Experience
The T sent its first team of young boys and girls out of town the Detroit Silver regional tournament for the weekend of November 7, 2015. Here are is a recap and a few impressions of why we love the travelling tournament experience.
Traveling to a tournament as a team is a bonding experience - for the parents and the children. Our kids prepped for matches together, celebrated wins together, reinforced each other after losses, watched top players in the region together, made new friends, laughed and giggled and cheered each other on in tough matches. We are trying to create a community of athletes at T, a culture of strivers and achievers. That happens when kids go out and climb a tall squash mountain, as they did this past weekend, then return home and set some goals together about how they can climb higher and faster the next time.
Rebounding After Failures
Our kids experienced and responded to failure. With the exception of one child (Aanvi the Girls U11 winner!), every one of our children lost this weekend against a tough competitor. A loss can hurt--we saw many tears flow this weekend. But more importantly, a loss brings a child to the edge of their abilities. A loss can be a springboard to growth, to determination to do better next time. That's the way we look at losses, as springboards to learning and growth. We saw many of our children respond to their losses in this way - it was beautiful to see.
What Parents Learn From Their Children
Parents learn from their children, watch them grow before their eyes, and grow closer to them by experiencing such a moving, challenging experience together. Squash tournaments are like a camping experience for parent and child. It's an intense concentrated experience that happens in an indoor squash facility, instead of around a tent and a campfire. Tight quarters, unique experience, good conversation, precious memories. The only thing missing is the smores. You have to go on a tournament weekend with your child to know this truth.
Self-Awareness and Breakthroughs
Finally, tournaments are often the occasion for a breakthrough in self-awareness, self-control and personal development. This weekend, we saw three children reverse a trend of buckling under the pressure of probable defeat, fighting hard to the very last point and encountering defeat with dignity and grace. We saw valiant victories over older and bigger opponents, victories that demand strong self-assurance and inner strength. We saw two children defeat an opponent who beat them the last time they played and we saw others who nudged closer in the final scoreline against rivals to whom they have lost to in the past. All of these things are the markings of character development in our young players. These are the things we celebrate.
Oh, and we also had a fantastic team dinner on Saturday night, with good food, good friends and plenty of laughter to fill up the small restaurant where we ate. A great weekend for all.
Do you want to experience this with your children? We invite you to take a look at the totally unique athletic and character building squash program at The T Squash Academy. Click here for more information or to schedule a tour of our facility.