Tips for Tryouts: Confidence, Courage, Community

It’s that time of year again, when girls and guys across the country are gearing up for tryout season and getting physically and mentally prepared. While I can’t help anyone with physical preparations, I can offer a few thoughts for the mental part.

Here are 3 words to keep in mind:

Confidence * Courage * Community

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What Will Your Recovery Be?

It started with a phone call – the kind of call every parent dreads.

The gym where my girls tumble had called to tell me that my oldest had hurt her finger and was in pain. It happened during a back-handspring and immediately started to swell.

We went to the ER, and after several hours we emerged with confirmation that she’d broken her finger and might need surgery. They scheduled us to see a hand surgeon on Monday.

Since the accident happened Thursday, we spent the entire weekend waiting and worrying. Besides the physical pain of a broken bone, we had to manage the emotional pain of what this might mean for her as a cheerleader – especially since her squad had tryouts the next week.

Many friends and visitors came by that weekend to keep Ella’s spirits up. They spoiled her with gifts, food, flowers, love, and attention. Again and again I tried not to cry, because my heart was so grateful for every individual who showed up during this vulnerable time.

On Monday we met with hand surgeons and chose the one who specializes in athletes. She recommended surgery on Tuesday, therapy starting Friday, and an estimated six-week recovery. It felt good to have a plan, yet I was scared. Somehow in my 14 years of parenting I’d never sent a child into surgery, so this was new territory.

By God’s grace her surgery went well, and her recovery has been smooth. Her bones are healing quickly as young bones tend to do. And while we’re not in the clear yet, we have reached a better place. I can look back now, reflect on the events, and process some lessons I learned.

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