Last night I went to bed feeling an overwhelming amount of sorrow and depression. My oldest boy, Zachary, has been struggling with soccer. He hasn’t found his niche and his personality has often put him at odds with some of his team mates. When we left practice last night he told me he was not having fun. My heart sank.
I am his coach as well as his father and I can’t help but feeling like I had failed him. I hadn’t motivated him. I hadn’t helped him find his role. I hadn’t even taught him how to enjoy the game. I talked it over with my wife and we were at a loss to understand it.
In thinking about I know Zachary is very sensitive and he takes my direction and yelling when I’m coaching personally. I have tried to explain to him over and over again that I yell at everyone and that I’m not mad, I’m just trying to teach them how to be better soccer players.
This morning I told Zachary that I just wanted him to have fun and to listen to me without arguing. We got to the field early and spent some one on one time working on his goalie skills. He listened. He didn’t argue. It was awesome.
Game time. Zachary started in goal…and ended in goal. It was the first game where Zachary played all four quarters when we weren’t short handed. He stayed in goal the whole game and played a monster game with a number of incredible saves including a penalty shot on goal. The team lost 3-0, but they played an awesome game. Zachary earned the respect of his team mates and the parents, but even more importantly: he had fun.
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