Rant with Randi: Ego

By Randi Crawford

I had the chance to witness two boys that are close to my family put ego aside and set a great example that we can all learn from over the past two weeks. Ego is a killer and gets in the way of just about everything. Those three little letters can ruin a person’s outlook on life. That’s sad because the world is such a bigger place than you and me.

A few weeks ago, a local lacrosse club held tryouts for their winter travel team. Several boys that I know tried out, and were on pins and needles waiting to hear the news about which team they made. Apparently there are three levels, and they are based on ability.

My nephew, a longtime lacrosse player and a sophomore in high school, did not make the team that all his buddies made, and he felt pretty down. We were all sad, but agreed that it was his situation to deal with. Turns out his age group held a third set of tryouts and, this time, my nephew had to tryout with the freshmen. For those of you who don’t have teenagers, it’s humiliating. But he went back to this tryout, ego aside, and played his butt off. Later that afternoon, he received a text from the head coach inviting him to join the team that he wanted to make.

My nephew could have easily blown off that third tryout, had a bad attitude towards the club and let his pride get in the way. He’s on a few different teams and he didn’t need to make another team. His parents could have made calls and yelled at coaches to try and get him on the team, but they didn’t. I was so proud of the example he set for both of my children. It taught them that if you let your pride get in the way, you are the loser. You can’t go through life worrying about what other people think about you, and if you really want something, you may have to eat humble pie to get it. At the very least, it taught them that you don’t always make the team you want, you don’t always get your way.

Subsequently, we had another friend try out at our age level and he didn’t make the team with his group of friends. All the boys felt terrible and didn’t understand why their buddy didn’t make it. They treated him with the utmost respect at school the next day, and they all supported him and made him feel really good. But here’s the funny part. This boy wasn’t that upset about it. He realized that it meant he would probably get more playing time on the other team, and that he still gets to practice with his friends. The only thing he would be missing was two tournaments, and his parents said that he could come to one of them to support his friends (and goof off in the hotel – the best part). This is just another example of having no ego and no parental intervention to screw things up. My gut tells me that this kid will most likely be moved up to the team he initially wanted to make before the season is through.

But these two stories are not typical. Most people do not accept adversity the way these two boys and their families graciously did. I hope someone reading this takes away the message that ego will hurt you, not help you. And, more importantly, to let your child figure it out if they don’t initially get what they want. Let them work through the adversity and then reap the rewards on the other side, because let me tell you – that feels darn good!

Your thoughts?