Do your best.
Do your best.
Do your best.
I bet we sound like a broken record to our kids. Work hard. Do your best. This has been our mantra to our kids over the years. They've heard us say it thousands of times. We repeat it over and over again in our motivational speeches regarding homework, sports, plays, and even chores.
For Joey, this year has been all about working hard and doing his best. Sixth grade has been extremely demanding for Joey. The academics have been very challenging and he has met the challenge with hard work and has succeeded. Add to that his extra curricular activities and basketball and having a lead in the musical and the kid has really had to be on his game.
Last year, Joey's first year playing on a basketball team, was a real year of growth. He went from being very timid on the floor and not really wanting the ball, to being a good defensive player and knowing the plays. Last year the coach named Joey the Most Improved Player.
Still, basketball does not come naturally for Joey. He works hard at it. There are some kids who are just naturally coordinated, athletic, and fluid in all their movements but Joey has to put in extra effort to make it all work together. When he began this season we could see just how much he had grown from the year before. Joey was the team's best defensive player this year. Whoever was the best shooter, or the biggest guy, on the opposing team that was who Joey was defending. Joey led his team in steals.
He became much more confident dribbling and put up much needed points at critical moments. He had some great shots out by the three point line that surprised even him. Joey had become a confident starter for his team.
Joey was also a leader on the team. He knew where every player should be at what point and was often shouting out directions to his teammates. At times I was worried that he was too bossy but it turns out his teammates appreciated his help.
Last night was the athletic banquet at Joey's school. Joey's basketball coach handed out three awards that the team had voted on: Most Improved player, the MVP, and the Best Overall player. The kids voted appropriately and the awards went to the right players and Joey was happy for his friends when they received their trophies.
But the coach wasn't done. He said that he and the Assistant Coach thought that there was one more player that needed to be recognized. He went on to say that this player showed up for practice ready to go, always worked hard, had a great attitude, and was helpful to all his teammates. This player was a leader on the court, both in his solid performances, great defense, putting up needed points, and in his relationship with his teammates. The coach reiterated that it was a real pleasure watching this player and it was great to have him on the team. Then the coach called Joey's name and handed him his trophy for the Coach's Award.
Joey carried that trophy around for the rest of the night. I swear he would have slept with it if he wasn't so concerned about it breaking. This morning at the breakfast table the trophy sat next to him as he ate. When I walked into the room and saw him beaming at his trophy he looked up at me and said, "I'm just so happy. So proud of myself."
You don't always have to be the best, but if you work hard and you do your best you will be a success.
Well done, Joey.