That may sound terrible, but I am actually quite proud. My son is a big, strong kid, but he hasn’t totally embraced the spirit of competition; rather, quite the opposite. He has fully embraced the spirit of support and encouragement. However, on the field of athletic play, this doesn’t translate into goals and victories.
This season did start out on a positive note. During the first game and his first action on the field, my wife, like any good mother, stood on the sideline and yelled to our son, “Look over here! I want to take your picture!”
To which our dedicated son waved her away and yelled back across the field, “Momma, I gotta stay focused!” Our focused little athlete.
Additionally, he has improved over his first season of soccer. During that first season, he loved to run up and down the field, but kicking the ball was something he was a bit hesitant to do. This season, he isn’t necessarily afraid to kick the ball, but he loves to celebrate that success. This often results in him kicking the ball in a crowd, jumping up and down and raising his hands, only to realize that the ball only went about six inches and is waiting to be kicked a second time.
The celebration usually gives opportunity to his opponents to swipe it away. I don’t know much about soccer, but I don’t think this is the most efficient way to run an offense.
While professional soccer may not make his list of potential career choices as an adult, life in sports might not be out of the realm of possibility. He has always been an encourager, cheering for teammates and opponents alike. In fact, in one game, after knocking down an opponent in an effort to get the ball, he stopped and picked the other boy up off the ground ... never mind that the game was still in action and that his opponents stole the ball while he was helping this boy off the ground.
Most recently, we witnessed an act that may have been a preview to his future in sports.
After a particularly challenging quarter of play, he came back to the bench and sat next to the coach and said, “I have a great idea.” He quickly started describing a play the team could incorporate.
“We should circle their player with the ball, steal the ball, then when they circle us, we should break away toward the goal and SCORE!”
We were positioned perfectly behind the bench listening to his detailed strategy session when he turned to us and simply said, “That would obviously be an awesome play.” Obviously.
While our son may not be the best player in his league or on his team, we are proud of his spirit of kindness and empathy for those around him. And if you ever need an “obviously awesome” soccer play, Coach Ryerson can probably help you out.