Friday, January 21, 2011

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?


Cat said...

I wish I could give you advice, but I have no clue. I would make a horrible parent which is why I don't have kids. These types of situations fill me with panic at not knowing the answer.

I sort of think what you said to him was the best of all situations. Then again, I have dogs. They don't have these sorts of problems. :(

J said...

I think you did a pretty great pep talk. Sometimes it's hard for kids to realize that there's another team better than theirs, when every coach is pumping them up, yknow?

Ah, they'll get 'em next time! :)

eric said...

i have an opinion :)

i think you said exactly what you needed to say. he just needs to understand it.

i coach Asa in basketball -- i believe he's the same age (10) -- i tell the boys that i can't tell them they're going to win or lose.

the guy who helps me pisses me off when he busts in and tells them, "i guarantee if you play the way you played last week we're going to win this week." bullshit! that's just somebody who was never a PLAYER.

my boys know what's up after a few years now.

and that is ... have these boys go out and be warriors. that's what you ask. they do that and they're gods among men. they will see failure, it's a certainty, because there's only a few people in the world who can say nobody's better than they are.

they are better off for it. they get to cut through rah-rah nonsense and be surgical about their craft.

you want to hug him ... ok ... do that if you want ... but i go more for "you're a PLAYER, you'll get over it." and to realize that there's no use in trying to be a messiah, it's a waste of mental energy. you don't want to encourage narcissism (saying it's all your fault is just a way of saying you're all powerful).

the boy will get it. if they stick him back at goal like that he's obviously The Man. let me tell you ... goalie's like being a pitcher ... you feel like the weight of the world is on you, and you know what? sometimes it kind of is. but that's all part of being a PLAYER.

man those ups and downs are what makes life interesting.

that's my opinion :)

clairious miss said...

Update! :)

Envoy-ette said...

1)That ball got by every other member of his team before it got by him.
2)You can't stop every ball.
3) You said exactly the right thing.

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