Wednesday, June 27, 2018

Thoughts from the soccer field

Pulling up to the field 30 minutes early, I unbuckled He-Beat and handed him the pink box that was occupying the front passenger seat. Looking at me a bit sheepishly, he proceeded to walk/run over to the coaches tent, slowing slightly with his approach as 8 curious teenagers eyed him.

"We come with a peace offering" I announced as he handed his coach from the day before the box. A quick conversation happened where I thanked them all for their hard work before grabbing He-Beat so we could leave this group in peace with this well-deserved snack.

Almost 90 mins later the head coach for the program would find me to chat some more about our email exchange. We talked about what he had been seeing and the fact that He-Beat is actually falling within the normal range for behaviors expected from beginning soccer players. He would then ask what I did for a living given how our email exchange had gone down combined with the pink-box incident in the morning. Our conversations would weave and dip through education, parent involvement and how difficult it is to be a teacher of any sort in the modern era. Of how though most do this work because they are answering a higher calling, it can often feel thankless or unappreciated.

Watching He-Beat today, seeing him do better but knowing there's still much to learn, I though more about how often we don't focus on allowing our kids to fail. Team sports and activities seen as extra curricular are often seen as secondary to what is traditionally tested on standard exams. And yet, those that excel don't make them secondary. The things that feed their souls are incorporated into their daily routines, becoming a part of their work by incorporating the skills they learn. But in order to master that, they have to be allowed to fail. Something that can be incredibly painful to watch.

Practiced ended with another very tired He-Beat who was once again begging not to go to school. He also waved good-bye to another little boy, which I consider a big step in the right direction, with a promise to see him tomorrow. So today I'm counting as a mini-win, accepting that there will be more hard days in the future but that it's none-the-less important to continue down this road. If for no other reason than to see that delighted smile on his face again.


  1. Sounds like you and the coach are forging a relationship based on common values and mutual respect. Brilliant move, bringing snacks. Food can be such a connector because it makes people feel appreciated.

  2. Yay! (I read your previous soccer post but didn't comment, as I didn't have any advice to offer.) Glad that went better!

  3. Ditto to Lori's comment. How fabulous that he enjoys it so much.


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