In 7th grade, I tried out for the field hockey team.
I didn't even know how to play, but it looked like fun and a lot of my friends were trying out. Up until then, I played little league softball (not well), dabbled in gymnastics (wasn't very good) and was on the swim team (better).
I didn't make the field hockey team. I was disappointed, but not crushed. I hadn't really put in any real effort but the rejection prompted me to enroll in field hockey camp. I'm not sure if it was because I really wanted to play or just wanted to prove to myself that I could learn. Either way, I picked up some skills, tried out again in 8th grade and made the team! I had a lot of fun, but ultimately, when it came time to pick my fall sport in high school, I loved swimming more. Looking back, that was probably best, since I'll admit, I was a little afraid of the ball!
I think it was an important lesson for me. I didn't grow up thinking I was always going to "make the team" much like the author of this article. I had to work really hard. Same goes for school. My parents couldn't always put that "my child made the honor roll" sticker on the car, but I did alright. And, although I loved the swim team, it didn't come easy to me so I never skipped practice and was always really proud of myself when I beat my time each swim meet. It was more important to me that I kept improving, even though I didn't often finish first.
I will encourage my children to play sports and try out for whatever they want. I will also be there when their name isn't on "the list." We'll figure out their nitch. A little rejection can build character and a sense of humor!