As I watched Rose run and scramble for the ball, I was reminded of her first such soccer tournament, not so long ago.
She was not yet in kindergarten, one of the shortest on the field, with a pinny that came down to her toes. She spent the whole of each game happily jogging after the ball wherever it went. I remember asking her as she came off the field, “You’ve played two games so far, do you know who won?” She shook her head and shrugged, made a silly face, and then ran off to get a popsicle.
I think that’s how sports should always be. Give it your all, don’t give a thought to whether you won or lost, then dash for a popsicle.
Since then she’s gotten a bit more competitive, but not much. By nature she’d rather make friends than compete against them, and I couldn’t help but notice that whenever she went head to head against a classmate, she was smiling as she tried to kick the ball away.