Tag Archives: losing

The Bench Is Not A Fun Place …

15 Sep

You hope at the very least that they have a moment when they hear the cheer. The clapping. The loudness. You hear the woo-hoo charged with such energy and enthusiasm that it reverberates in the air.

You’ve heard it before for your kid and hoped the start of a new year on a new team, that you’d hear the roar again, at the very least from you.

But instead it was silence, frustration, and disbelief. I rubbed my forehead and face in anguish. It was painful to watch.

It was one of those times you tried to find something positive to say or remember about the performance and nothing … absolutely nothing came to mind.

I had one of those parent moments where I couldn’t believe what was happening but it was happening because my eyes were watching it, so I just sat there stunned.

I was watching everything fall apart, just completely sink. From the top of his game to being third string. As a parent and sports enthusiast it was tough to face.

He had the worst … and I mean the worst game of his life, where everything that could go wrong did. He forgot how to pass, how to shoot, how to move fast, how to defend. It’s like he had amnesia and forgot how to play the game. It hurt to watch him self-destruct.

It hurt to come to terms with the terrible plays and effort, it was disappointing to know that he was just a body out there, not making an impact at all … well … he was, but a negative one.

That’s one thing I tell both my kids … did you make an impact? Did you do better than last time?

Both answers were no.

I mean just yesterday my daughter continued making strides in her first year of soccer. The way she continues to improve as a player every game only makes me believe that we’re just scratching at the surface of her potential. I’m excited at what she can do and what’s to come for her.

My son, however, has started his journey this year at an all-time low, and I’m troubled by it. I’m having a lowly parent moment where I feel there’s nothing I can do for my kid. No matter how many pointers or words of encouragement I shout out nothing was getting through and the slump snowballed into a disastrous state of play.

It’s the first time I couldn’t see a positive. It was an epic failure and it sat there for all to watch and the oohs and ohhhs could be heard.

The performance will hang over him like a Scarlett Letter and he’ll have to dig and fight his way out. He’ll have to work twice as hard now to even earn half the time he had before. It’s slipping away.

I’m thinking maybe it’s time to rewatch Rudy, or Hoosiers, or read the sports biographies of comeback underdogs. Perhaps rewatch Nadal’s Championship match in the U.S. Open, because the bench is not a fun place if you’re an athlete. It’s not great if you’re a parent either.

This uphill battle is going to be tough. I’m wondering what Coach Taylor would say …

Buen Camino my friends…

A Standing Ovation

16 Dec

After all the dramatic events that led to our induction into AYSO I’d like to say that it turned out fantastic, that the season was filled with plenty of Rudy-Hoosiers-Miracle-The-Natural type of moments.

But … I can’t. Nope.

My son’s first ever soccer experience involved being part of a Bad News Bears squad where they ended up losing almost every single game of the season. And instead of being one of those crazed parents yelling at their kid after the game or the season, I seemed to take the Kurt Warner approach.

I could see that he felt bad game after game, that he knew they had a losing record but I didn’t want to focus on the losing. But don’t get me wrong I did point out mistakes and what needed to improve, but that wasn’t my focus. I decided to concentrate more on what he did do right and how impressed I was at how he knew nothing about the sport at the beginning of the season and ended up being such a great defender toward the end.

He was voted most improved and I was proud of that, because that’s all we really want for ourselves too. We want to be better than we were yesterday and I was glad he had that in mind.

I mean I knew the losing record was a bummer, but still felt like he deserved a high-five, because he was different from the other players. He gave it his best, 100% effort and that was what mattered. His character in the end mattered. Every week he showed up, hopeful that his efforts and those of his teammates would bring back a win. Every week he gave his heart and every week he got better.

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So instead of pointing out the losses that took place throughout the season I paid attention to the courage it took for him to try something new and his perseverance and sportsmanship when things weren’t easy. I decided he definitely needed his standing ovation because losing is a hard lesson to learn no matter how old you are.