I am holding my breath. Our girls (the 4th and 5th grade basketball girls in case you’ve not followed this) won the first of their tournament games toward the all-city 4th & 5th grade girls championship on Thursday. It rocked. They rocked. Afterward my partner said they had been really scared. A few of the girls, one at a time had gotten her off to the side before the game started and said, “I’m scared, Coach” and “They’re big, bigger than we are.” She told me how she listened and worked to calm them down and then told them to just “play your game” and that’s all anyone can ask for and it would be fine. She loves to win, my partner, but that wasn’t what she meant by fine, she just meant it was really ok, whatever they would do. But they did win.
There are two more games. One this afternoon and then the winner of this game will play the winner of some other game being played somewhere else by two other teams. So I find myself in a place I’ve never been. Here I am, a sports mom with no child on the team. The coach’s partner. Nervous about the big game. I picked up the phone last night and it was S., the other coach, calling my partner to talk about their plan for today– not their plays or their defense, but their plan to meet, to get a busload of nervous girls to the school where these games are being played and a couple of other things. There I am, listening in to one end of the conversation, taking it all in, thinking it over and jumping in to offer advice. “If you do that, you’ll freak them out” I say. I think they agreed with my advice. Now all that’s left for me is to get there and cheer. Holding my breath.