Wednesday, October 11

Soccer Dad

There are people who would never win an award for their patience. On some days that is me but most days I can deal with whatever is going on. On most days that would be my dh. Add a competitive sport in the mix and you can forgetaboutit.

My daughter plays soccer. She played for the 6 week spring session and now she has played the 6 week fall session.

She has greatly improved in just those 2 sessions.

Last spring she had a female coach who didn't know anything about the game and didn't really teach the kids too well. I give her credit for stepping up to coach, though. She did it because the league was short coaches, therefore she stepped up to the plate or rather the line. I don't like to criticize her because of this. But even then my husband would get so upset with Jaclyn because she wouldn't fully pay attention to the game. A few times when she tried to get the ball she would get pushed down. Or hurt. And she would come to me crying. But she would still try. Give her a break away and she would score a goal just about every time. There was one game she scored 5 goals alone.

Crying is not an option.

Being 4 is not an option.

So now in this fall session she had a really good coach and was getting in there. Trying to get the ball more. She isn't scoring as much as she did in the spring because there are other kids who are older who are better at the game. The league is for under 6 (including 6). She is still 4. Some kids have been playing for 3 years. This is still really her first year.

Lack of experience is not an option.

But she can run fast. And again given the break away she will try to score. She probably only scored 5 goals this whole session. But she tried. She didn't cry once. But also didn't have a need to cry.

Other than the constant pressure when Dad was there. I feel bad for her. She needs to learn how to love a sport before she can excel in it. She loves to dance. She loves her ice skating. I think she could love soccer but I also think if the pressure continues she will learn to hate it.

I yell from the side lines also but mostly things trying to get her to run or go get it. My tone of voice is encouraging. Not like his voice. He doesn't understand. He would be mad if he knew I put this out there. But I need to get it out.

This fall there was a girl on her team that was given $1 for every goal she scores from her grandpa. Ok. Good incentive. And she fights for it. Even with her own team. So of course my husband thought what a great idea. Luckily, he asked me what I thought about it first. I told him I didn't like it so much. It doesn't promote team play in a team sport. It promotes personal gain above all else. I would much rather give her an incentive for playing her hardest. Trying her hardest no matter if she scores a goal or not. So that is what we did. She looked forward to the slushies she would get if she played hard. Of course my idea of her playing hard is different from my husband's but that is somewhat ok. We decided together whether or not she would get her slushy. Mostly she did. But on the days she didn't she knew she wasn't really paying attention to the game. Everyone has off days.

But her last game was soooooooo. I can't even think of an appropriate word. She was tired. She had school that morning and a long day. She tried. She played. But once again the other team didn't have enough players for them all to play and our kids were rotated. She never does good when that happens. She can't really get into the rhythm of the game. A few times she didn't pay attention to what was going on. But she tried. And my husband bitched. Kind of under his breath most of the time. I tried to tell him enough. He didn't listen. Even my mother in law had heard enough. His tone was so biting. He had had a terrible day at work so he just shouldn't have come. He wasn't in the right frame of mind to exhibit his patience with a bunch of kids playing soccer. It got to the point where I had to tell him nobody wants to hear it anymore. I can imagine what the other parents were thinking. And my poor daughter. She doesn't need to hear it.

She is four.

She is learning.

This is her chance to have fun playing a sport.

I hope and pray she doesn't ever truly feel the pressure.

She will never be forced to be involved in something she doesn't like as long as I have a say in it.

Does anyone else have problems with the male competitive nature?


Mary said...

Soccer parents are almost as crazy as hockey parents. I coached an under 10 team a few years ago and had a MOM I had to ask not to stand with the team when she watched her sone because she was such a bad influence.

I hope your little one learns to love the reat game that soccer is.

Lauri said...

what is it with men..... Your doing a good job with her by letting her know that it is a game and putting effort out there is important but having fun is the goal

hang in there

Bethany said...

I'm glad you're there to give her some balance. A good friend of mine recently went through this with her husband (who coaches high school football.) He couldn't figure out why her daughter couldn't remember the rules or didn't "hustle" on the field. She kept reminding him that she is only 4 and that the whole point of soccer at 4 is to learn a team sport and enjoy the exercise. If they feel like they aren't good enough or too much pressure, they'll end up hating it, which shouldn't be anyone's goal.