Memory for a Lifetime

Here is a note from a good friend of mine, Gary Stegman. We are both volunteers with a boys club called Conquest which focuses on building boys into men through virtue - much like SportsLeader. I am honored to know his son personally. 

It is so awesome to see young boys embracing virtue with such strength.

Many grown men and women would not have the same perspective and virtue to react the way this 10 year old did. Maybe a good lesson in humility for all of us.

Hi Lou,

I wanted to share this story about my 10 year old son, Chris, that brought a tear of joy to my eye and made me think about how much our kids can influence us.  

(It also was a pretty cool proud Father moment)

Chris’ team made it to the finals of a soccer tournament a few weeks ago.  The game was a hard fought contest with regulation ending in a 0 – 0 tie.  

The overtime consisted of two 5 minute periods and then, if still tied, a shoot-out to determine the winner.  The first overtime period ended without either team scoring.  

Then Chris’ team scored with just a minute gone in the second period.  The kids were elated, but getting very tired.  Then, with less than 20 seconds remaining in the second overtime period, the other team scored to tie the game.  

On to the shootout…  each team missed a couple of shots and made a couple of shots.  

It came down to the last shooter for Chris’ team.  He needed to make it to tie the game.  If he missed, the other team would pull out the win.  

The player to take that final shot was my son, Chris.  

He lined up the ball and gave it a hard boot but the shot went wide left.  His team had lost.  

After a few seconds dealing with the disappointment that I felt, I searched the field for my son thinking I would need to console him after the miss.  

Lou, this is where I saw the image of my son that will stay with me for a long time.  Instead of Chris lying on the ground in disappointment or hanging his head, he was running across the field with his head held high clapping for the other team.  

He was able to quickly realize that the game was hard fought by both sides, and, instead of wallowing in his own disappointment, he was able to celebrate what was a great game between two talented teams.  

I admitted to him later that I don’t think I could have handled what happened with the same character and strength.

Before the shot, I was hoping to have a memory of my son putting that ball in the goal.  However, I realized after the game that I would have soon forgot that memory.  Instead, I have a wonderful memory of an example of the character that my son possesses.