My son is playing indoor soccer this season for the first time. It's been an adjustment because it's very different from the soccer he's used to playing. And a very different experience as goalie for him. Indoor is much faster and there are way more shots on goal than outdoor soccer. But he's getting used to it.
Last weekend they were just creamed by the other team. His coach kept him in the goal for the whole game which was really hard on him. He takes it very personally when a ball gets past him. So losing 10 to 1 last weekend was rough on the kid. After the game I had to console him because he really feels that they lost because of him. It doesn't matter that the other 40 shots on goal didn't get past him and it doesn't matter that his team wasn't scoring at all. He thinks that if he had just done a better job they would have won and it's impossible to change his mind. I like that he takes responsibility for his performance and I feel that losing helps a person become a better player but he needs to remember that he's not the whole team. It doesn't help that his team won every game last season and almost every game the season before that. He's just not used to losing.
Anyway, the point here was that I was telling him that the team they played was really good and there was no way he could have blocked every shot. I said that sometimes they're going to play teams that are better than they are and that's just part of life. He was quiet for a minute and then said "this isn't a very good pep talk, Mom."
As a mom I always have the urge to baby him. But as a parent I need to make sure he knows how to lose gracefully. (or at least look like it) So how do I balance it when half of me wants to hug him and tell him everything will be ok and the other half wants to tell him he better practice a lot more and play harder next time?
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