It’s not going as anticipated. It’s not that the skill set isn’t there…exactly. Drew clearly has a passion, or obsession, for baseball which he would happily practice for hours. Team sports, team engagement, strategy of a game like soccer is a whole different ball game.
Drew doesn’t quite realize how very frustrating it is to watch his games, last Sunday may have been the worst. When asked how it went, he said it was fun. By all means that should mean success since that is the sole purpose for doing this stinking sport. I’m not sure Drew really means that it was fun though, rather he has been conditioned to know that is the answer we are looking for.
There is a sophistication to a game where you have to depend on your team members to get the ball away from the opposing team. There is a maturity to recognizing that defense is just as important as offense. It is very difficult for a four year old to understand that the game of soccer is so much than scoring a goal. And for all these reasons and so many more, it is painful watching this four year old play soccer.
Perhaps it wouldn’t be quite so painful if your four year old didn’t cry when he didn’t get the ball, didn’t have a temper tantrum for not scoring a goal or made your life hell for sitting on the sidelines two of the four quarters. Unfortunately that is not the case for me, so every minute of the hour long soccer “game” tends to be excruciating.
Four days a week there are hour long voluntary soccer clinics. Last week Drew was dragged there by the skin of his teeth. Like the first week he attended, he spent the first half an hour watching the clouds float by, taking water breaks and dancing around the field. Fortunately the last half an hour he got a little practice in.
This week, he has exclaimed that he does not want to go. Clearly not the example of a child that was having fun when he was out there last Sunday. Do I force him to go with hopes that these clinics will teach him some of the fundamentals that will improve his game? Do I continue to drag him there kicking and screaming when its supposed to be fun? After all these clinics are voluntary and he is not letting down his team by not attending.
Believe it or not, he actually has the skills. He’s incredibly good at controlling the ball using only his feet. He has a very advanced ability to score a goal. Yet the strategy behind the game is beyond him and therefore loses him. Should I just resign to the fact that soccer is not going to be his sport and painfully sit through the games we have committed to?
How do I force this kid to focus and actually have fun with the game? Or do I just resign to the fact that he’s been conditioned to say he’s having fun even though he’s (and I am) NOT!?!?