My heart raced, my fists clenched, my voice cracked.

It was an adrenaline rush.

The last two weeks have been the most tense, most entertaining soccer ever. My 8 1/2 year old son was showing skills he didn’t have a few weeks before, and his whole team seemed to be doing the same.They are half the size of adults (it seems) and yet the kick backs, side moves, and strong  punts mirror professional soccer (at least it feels that way).

And as Ryan deeks out a defender, my feet leap around as if I was the one with the ball. I try to keep them still, but they are as enthusiastic as my voice.

I actually checked to make sure I wasn’t breaking any unwritten “yelling too loud” rule. I was told, “stay positive and you’ll be fine.” Oh yeah, I’m positive. Positive Ryan is going to be the best soccer player ever! (Along with the rest of his gelling team, of course.) I feel like I’m channeling my inner Sandra Bullock in the Blind Side, only she wasn’t so noisy.

But this is a new experience for me. How proud I feel, how excited for my son and his team, how happy to focus solely on the game.

As parents, we enjoy watching our children’s sports. Sensing their hard work, their accomplishments, and their personal pride are all part of the privilege of being a parent. We know this is part of our children’s life and we will support our children as fully as we can.

But how does this extend to our personal involvement? How does this become not just a sport but a life event? These are my thoughts.

1. The soccer field (or name your child’s sport) is a great place to be fully present. Being in the ‘now,’ not thinking of what must get done today, is a fulfilling experience.

2. Enthusiasm is nothing to shy away from. Be more enthusiastic – it is contagious, and we all have more fun.

3. Feel pride in your child’s accomplishments, and spread that pride to the rest of the team or community. There can never be too much of feeling good.

4. Double-check that these feelings are authentic. If pride comes from a place of love and happiness within you, it feels authentic and flows well with the group. If pride comes from ego, check it at the door. This type of pride feels incongruent to others and doesn’t sit right. When enthusiasm comes from a place of joy, it feels full of happiness. When it is ego-based, it seems over the top, unnecessary.

Throughout life we enjoy, we learn, we contribute and we enjoy some more. If we’re lucky we also feel that bit of adrenaline from something special.

Forget skydiving or running.  Once a week this is my new adrenaline rush.

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