Let's set the scene shall we?
It was a dark, not-so-stormy night. There was a tough scrimmage loss against older more experienced players. Her goalie stats for the scrimmage are 17 SOG and 5 allowed. After, with unprecedented speed, she is ready to go in an astonishing 15 minutes. No locker room banter or horseplay that night.
Stomping her way to the car with her bag, I could tell something was wrong but all I got was "I'll tell you in the car".
The ride home consisted of "I could have stopped those" "I was so nervous" "I could have done better" "It sucked"
And me, in true Dr. Freud fashion, "Did you give your best effort?" "What could you have done better?" "Did you learn from it?" All said in soothing tones as if to say "It's all going to be ok". If I hadn't been driving I might have tried stroking her hair. Kind of like taming a savage beast.
After I feel like she's hashed it out enough, I then drop the tough love. "It's over now, you need to get over it and get ready for Las Vegas" I feel her tensing up as though she is about to rip my face off, start crying or both. Then she relaxes. "Yeah, it's only one game"
And isn't that best mantra for sports AND life? "It's only one game"
I am ready for my Pulitzer Peace Prize.