Saturday, August 17, 2013

Little Mo Tournament- Chicago

I think Brady would prefer that I didn't talk about this part of our Chicago trip...but, it is 
what it is and I will make it short and sweet.

Brady played some of his best tennis in Chicago.  Little Mo is a tournament for 8-11 year olds...and you only play against kids your age.  There were kids there from New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Missouri, Massachucettes, Pennsylvania, Maryland, Delaware and New Jersey.  Those are the ones I remember.  The best 10 year olds in those states.

Brady lost his 3rd round match.  The match before he would have qualified to go to
Nationals in Texas in October.  It would have been easier to handle had Brady played his best.
He won the first set 6-3 and I felt myself take a big breath and relax.  Brady was the stronger player.  He controlled every point and the boy was slowly having a breakdown/meltdown out on the court.

 Then, at the start of the second set, the boy walked up to Brady and said something.  (Usually players never talk once the match starts.)  I knew immediately something wasn't right.  I could see the look on Brady's face, his shoulders came down and he didn't look himself out there.  Nor did he play like himself either.  He ended up losing that set 1-6.  Because they each won a set, they had a 10 point tie break.  I knew Brady would lose the tie breaker, and he did.  I think the score was 10 to 6.  
When Brady came off the court, we took him off to an area away from the crowd.  He cried and cried...harder than he has in years.  I think when you play your best and lose...then there's nothing to be sad about.  It's when you don't play your best that it hurts the most.

At the start of the second set, the boy called Brady a name.  Brady has yet to tell us what the boy said...but it obviously hurt him and he couldn't move past it.   He said the boy made him feel terrible.  I think even the spectators watching were surprised that Brady lost and were questioning some of the boys actions out there.  Unfortunately in junior tennis, the players make their own line calls and are taught to handle things on their own.   It's the only sport I know of where there aren't officials or least until you get to the pro level. :(

While Eric consoled Brady, I walked over to the boy's mother who was standing alone and said,  "I don't know what your son said to my son, but your son is a bully."  
Yes, I did. And, I regretted it as soon as I walked away.
Brady always conducts himself with such class and character out on the court...and there I went
 in a weak moment and made a fool of myself...which could have reflected poorly on  my son.
For that, I am so sorry.  I hopefully will never do that again.

It was not the way he wanted to end the tournament.  He was devastated he let this kid
beat him like he did and was so sad that he didn't make it to Texas.
It was a learning experience for sure...and one we're still working on.
He learned that some kids will do whatever it takes to win.  He learned that not everyone
plays fairly or is a good sport and he cannot let that affect his game.  He also learned that
he needs to work on his mental toughness. 

Being a parent is so hard...I hope we say the right things in the right moment.
Brady has so much to be proud of.  Right before we left for Chicago, Brady moved to
#1 in the ranking in Central Pennsylvania.  He has made quite a name for himself...and 
more importantly, there is rarely a tournament when someone doesn't comment on what a nice boy he is.  Nothing makes me more proud.

I hope Brady remembers the good stuff about his friend Dylan who was able
to cheer him up after his loss...

(Dylan is a year older than Brady & played in the next age group)

Dylan and his family stayed at the same hotel and the boys had so much fun 
swimming together, going out to eat and hanging out.  Lots of laughs between these
two...and it makes me so happy that Brady has a tennis friend that he can relate to and be
crazy with.  He needs that.

So, that's how the tournament went down.  Not pretty...but we take the good with the 
bad around here and we pick ourselves up, learn from it, and move on.


yaya said...

Sounds like Brady had the toughest tennis lesson in his life..I think he will not let bullies decide his fate again and he will be OK..he's got great parents..and frankly I would have said something to this other player's Mom shake it off, take all the lessons learned and enjoy the future tourneys...He's got a great adventure ahead of him...on to the next level Brady! We're all cheering for you! time you're in Mansfield, let me know!

Kris said...

Oh Kerri, I have so much to comment on!! First of all, don't beat yourself up about saying what you did. I think that many of us Mama Bears would have done the same thing! Brady is still learning so much about life. Because he plays with such maturity on the court, it might be easy to forget that he is still a young boy. A great learning experience all the way around.
You have so much to be proud of. While reading this post, I kept thinking of one of my favorite quotes.
"It's nice to be important...but it's more important to be nice!!!"
xo Kris

jen said...

First of all, so glad you got to w pertinence Chicago and that someone gave you correct pizza advice. We lived in Chicago for three years, and it holds some of my favorite memories ever.

Next, I would not have been able to control my tongue with that mom. Sounds like Brady isn't the only one who learned something that day.


Nicolle said...

I've opened my mouth a few times, and I am sure I would have probably done exactly as you did. And then sometimes I feel bad, so I understand where you are coming from, but I think just about any mama would have done the same thing. My heart is broken for Brady that he was so upset over all of this. Bless him. Brady is the best!

Gabe said...

Oh, I'm right there with you...I've yelled many a thing, I shouldn't at football games. I always regret it...but I wouldn't beat yourself up about it...I think she needed to understand that other people don't think her kid is all that:}
Football started today...I have a love/hate relationship with football its brought so many good lessons for my boys, but its so hard to see them lose all the time!

Dan said...

Kerri, You never told me this. Glad I didn't go now. Yet, this was a very important lesson for him. Not every child is raised with lots of love and love for others too. It's a long journey and quest and I'm sure he will prevail in the end because he is not afraid of hard work.

booksandcandy said...

Oh all the previous comments are so much better than what I will say. I am sitting here in tears. My husband is looking at me like I have lost my mind and I probably have.
Give Brady a squeeze
This quote popped up on my fb the other day and it was just what I needed. I hope it brings peace as well I can't take credit I hope the link works

Holly said...

Oh Kerri!
Just so you know, I would have done the same. damn. thing.
And I will probably dwell on this all day and it'll piss me off some more.

Brady is a class act...
We all know that.

And selfishly, I wish he had made it to TX, because we could have driven down to see him play!!!

Next year Brady!!!

{cindy} said...

oh kerri!!:(
so sorry for all the sadness and hurt feelings. I never really played sports growing up so this stuff really gets to me! and mean kids!! don't even get me started on that!
I know you know all the things you and eric and brady have to be proud of and thankful for , but sometimes that doesn't make it any easier right?
I am so glad that you had your friends there with you to help ease the pain a bit.
you are raising a wonderful son kerri!
hugs to you all!

Cindy said...

Oh my gosh, I remember reading this and how much I felt for you and Brady!! I have so much to say on this, but most importantly -- you reacted the way most any mom would, including myself. I think it must be a little hard with tennis being an individual sport -- perhaps less other moms to vent with during his matches. We have experienced bullies both who try to intimidate at school before important games and on the field. It's so upsetting. I become soooo competitive and don't like the emotions it brings out! In the end, it's all part of growing up, and with great parents like you two he's on the right track for sure!! On to bigger and better things!

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