Spring sports are around the corner. If spring brings hope eternal, we could certainly use that more than ever before. Spring youth sports in New York City are often a type of return. Emerging outdoors from the cold winter and from indoor activities. We’re feeling that this year too, but times a million. The PSAL (public school athletic league) just announced that high school spring sports will resume in April in NYC. Youth leagues are getting ready to start their seasons. How can we go ahead and help children prepare for spring sports this year of all years? If we can barely process and comprehend this as adults, what can we do for children?

This season, there appears to be the strongest emphasis on the return. In mindfulness training, the return is the key. The return when the mind inevitably wanders. Mindfulness training isn’t about getting it right, it’s about noticing and being okay when we get distracted. And coming back. The return. With compassion and kindness. This season, we’re all returning. The tentativeness that comes with that process can be intimidating. Am I doing this right? Do I remember how? Why does it feel this way, this is weirder than I thought it would be? This is hard, I can do this, this is impossible, I hate this, I love this, I want to go home, put me back in the game. Accepting all of that as best we can will help us guide our young athletes. To be there with them, through it all.

This season will not be about winning and losing. Let’s do our best to remember to be as kind and loving to ourselves, and do our best to show up for our young athletes. They’ll need us this season more than ever. Imperfect and flawed. Damaged, But returning.