By Katherine Doble-Cannata, Co-Founder & Publisher
When my tween convinced her friends to play basketball with her this year, I worried. There was so much that could go wrong….first day of evaluations, the girls were separated. I cringed. The teams were announced and two of the five girls were on the opposing team. I bit my nails. They played against each other and my daughter’s shot was blocked by one of her best friends. I held my breath. And so it continued. Each week a potentially friendship breaking event occurred and my paranoia grew. But now the season is coming to an end and something much different has happened.
The tweens have learned important lessons such as:
- To praise and support each other after wins, losses, good plays and bad
- You are only as good as your weakest player so help each other improve.
- To work through difficult situations like when you are down by 20 points to a boys’ team!!
- Everything is better when you work together. Even those push-ups the coach makes themdo after a loss are easier because they are doing them together.
- Friends should be happy with each other’s success, even if it comes at loss for them.
- The ability to compartmentalize and context. On the court, they are respected opponents, off the court they are back to being friends.
Most importantly, their self-esteem has grown tremendously. They started as a group of shy, clumsy tween girls and have blossomed into a fierce, sometimes still clumsy, but much more coordinated team. Thankfully, my fears were unfounded and basketball proved to be a great learning experience for our tween girls.
It also helped that I was involved and watching for potential problems along the way. A piece of advice for my amigas, PAY ATTENTION AND LISTEN to your tween. There were many potential problems and helping spot them and ‘coach’ them through made a big difference.
Did you know that Los Tweens sponsors a girls’ basketball league? Check out photos of our first season- Los Tweens in action!