I’m just gonna put it out there. Toughie’s team has yet to win a game. Let’s be clear: many things in the universe are conspiring against them. The teams are divided by age, but because it was hard to get enough kids for a team, two age groups are together in one team. But because the older kids in the group can’t play against younger teams, the younger kids have to play against older teams. And they’re not just any ramshackle bunch of kids who happen to be older: some of them have been playing as long as they’ve been walking. Some were cherry-picked from their recreational leagues, and other teams have so many kids they have an “A” squad and a “B” squad. Our team was just big enough to play the field with one or two substitutes. Many of them dabbled in the rec league, but didn’t have much in the way of formal training (Toughie included). They’re learning as they go. And it’s just not easy. And that is frustrating. Now here’s the bright side: It has never gotten the kids down. They were just as excited after their last loss about playing as they were before their first loss. And more kids have joined up. And now they’re learning to play together. And they’re scoring. And they’re loving it. And every parent on the sideline is proud. And next fall, there will be two teams formed from this one–the older kids who play in the next bracket, and the younger kids who will stay in our current bracket. Toughie is one of the younger kids. And if he’s good now (which I have been told he is), he just might be great next year. He’s trying every step of the way. Here’s to not worrying about whether you win or lose.