My 8 year old son decided about a month ago that he would enter a golf tournament at a public course after being encouraged by a kiddo he golfed alongside one day this summer. It was my son's second time playing through the course with his grandparents (Pa Jim and Grandma). I was at first taken back by his longing to play in this one day 9 hole tournament. He, quite frankly, is not much of a risk taker and has little experience on the golf course. Knowing this though, I excitedly encouraged him and supported him in his decision to give the tournament a try ( hoping he would grow from it).
The actual tournament was this past Saturday. I was anxious that he might back out or change his mind but he didn't. He showered and dressed, packed his golf bag and set off with my husband for the golf course. We also had our youngest playing his first soccer game and I was not going to be able to watch the golf tournament. As I was leaving for soccer, I heard him yell, "MOM!" with a tear in his eye and needing a hug before his big day. I ran back to comfort him and tell him I would be texting Daddy and praying that he would have fun. He calmed down and was off.
Of course, I was a wreck texting and waiting for replies all afternoon. Turns out he had a ball. He played great (6th place in his age group) and learned how it feels to try something brand new! He was proud and so were we.
What does this teach me, my students, you? Be brave, there is much to gain by trying something new. Peer encouragement is huge (I attribute his desire to try this to another 8 year telling him he was should)! Thank goodness for texting!!