10 February, 2014

Another disappointing cancellation

We suffered another disappointment yesterday when we received an email telling us that today's Kanto Wrestling Finals was cancelled because not all the schools could participate due to school closings today. And we were given no hope of a reschedule.

After all the hard work our son and his team has done, it was very disappointing.
This area of Japan hosted a big snow storm
on Saturday, one of the biggest in the last
45 years. That is why the meet was
cancelled on Saturday.
This, by the way, was our backyard
on Saturday afternoon.
Additionally, this was his final (and best) chance at a medal because he'd only be competing against Junior Varsity (JV) wrestlers. He was hoping he might even get a gold, because he's beaten most, if not all the JV wrestlers he's met over the season. Alas, it was not to be.

Nonetheless we celebrate his season, it's been a good one. His tally was 13 wins and 4 losses. This is not at all what we expected, having been warned by the coach that high school was a big step up from the middle school competition. For sure, it looks better because he's been a JV wrestler, not a Varsity wrestler, but still, it's been a huge confidence boost for him and a blast for us as spectators watching him.

What's next?
Now we look forward to what's next. First I'm taking him to the first day of the three day "Far East" event on Thursday. "Far East" is the US Department of Defence (DOD) term for the Pacific region. All their DOD schools in the area (Korea, Japan, Guam) get together, and they invite some international schools like CAJ to compete too. It's a biggie, and only the Varsity wrestlers get to go. However one of the coaches at school suggested it would be good to take our son to see some higher level wrestling and prepare him for his (Lord willing) future involvement in the event. So I get one more wrestling meet to watch, but our son will just be an observer.

After this week our son plans to go back to his Japanese wrestling club once or twice a week. We're hoping he'll continue to work out after school some days in the weights room. His plan is to stay in shape because, as I wrote back here, he'll be joining a Australian wrestling club in July. We're not sure what the competition schedule will be like there, but it could be that they will have meets once every month or two. Last year there was a State championship in December. 

It will be an interesting experience, especially as there are only three clubs (that we know of) in the whole state. Our younger boys' eyes lit up this morning when I mentioned that they themselves could be wrestling in a meet before the end of the year! Phew, won't that be a challenging experience for mum? Three boys all wrestling competitively on the same day!

End of season reflections
But before I leave this wrestling post (and there sure have been a lot of them this season), I want to remember this post I wrote back at the end of our son's first wrestling season. It was a big surprise at the time to realise how much good value there was to be gained by participation in this sport. Here are some of the qualities I noted in that post, that I saw in developing in my son as he participated in wrestling:
  • sportsmanship
  • ability to cope with losing
  • perseverance
  • patience
  • ability to overcome frustration in the heat of the moment
  • compassion
  • coaching and encouraging others
I stand by all of that and would add, "Learning from losing". Of course you can learn these in many different endeavours in life, it just so happens that our son is learning them through being a wrestler. It's exciting to see how he's grown as a wrestler (comparing this year's videos to his first year!) as well as grown and matured as a young man.

And I continue to be thankful for his coaches. They are passionate about their sport. They care about their team, they are always trying to help each wrestler be better than they are, to learn from their mistakes and experiences. But they also care more about God than they care about wrestling. This brings a great balance to the whole affair and they don't hesitate to talk to the guys about faith and life. It's fantastic to have such great role models for our guys.

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