My son played in an 8th grade lacrosse game this weekend. I use the term “played” loosely. He saw seventeen seconds of field time.
When we got in the car to head home he was outwardly upset. He wouldn’t say a word, and just stared out the window. A tear came down his face.
There was silence for the entire drive home. After the twenty minute ride we pulled into the driveway and I turned to him.
I said, “I love you more than anything, son. I don’t care if you play an entire game, seventeen seconds, or only do warm up drills. I am proud of you no matter what. You are my favorite player of all time. I want you to learn something from this experience, though. Not what happened on the field, but what happened during the ride home.”
“The conversation during the ride home, was the most important conversation you have ever had about lacrosse. You see, son, the conversation that you had for the last twenty minutes, in your head, will determine your future with the sport.”
“You can say whatever you want in your head. You can say the coach is unfair. You can say that you are not being treated fairly. You can say that others don’t deserve it. And then you can say ‘I don’t want to be part of this.’ and quit (either emotionally or walk off the field). You can say the decision is theirs.”
“Or you can say that you want this. You can say that you will perform harder and stronger at practice than any other player. You can start earlier and end later. You can practice on your own. You can decide to never put your stick down. You can say that your success is your decision.”
“You see, son, your entire life’s experience is a result of the conversation in your head.”
A tear came down my face. I love him with every ounce of my soul. And I pray that he learns this lesson. I pray that you and I do, too.
The most important conversation in the world is the one you have in your head. What are you saying?