Just let KD and his mates have fun!

If you’ve been following what I write, you know I have really mixed feelings about KD and sports. He loves them and I don’t want to stifle him. At the same time, I don’t want us to be the family who spends every weekend on the road, going from city to city for tournaments. We need weekend time at home.

That being said, last weekend, KD’s team chose to play in a soccer tournament to end their season. It was supposed to be a “rec” tournament, but there was nothing recreational about a few of the teams, and the games were intense. At first, I rooted appropriately, but it wasn’t long before I was “that guy.” We all know who this parent is: a bit too into it, seemingly over identified with his kid.

Before the third of four games, I walked past coaches A and G as they went over the line-up. They weren’t sure if KD or another boy should be goalie. I immediately advocated for KD not to be goalie, as I think he’s more skilled at other positions. But in a U-8 league (i.e. for kids under the age of 8), it really doesn’t matter. At this age, none of the kids is great at any of the positions. They’re just there to have fun and learn skills. It’ll be a few years before the kids gravitate toward specific positions, and he might be a terrific goalie. (Full disclosure: A and G played him at goalie in their 4th game, and he played great. Appropriately, they gave me a good ribbing.)

I immediately realized I was being “that guy” and backpedaled, telling them it was their choice and really didn’t matter. I didn’t want to have any say. The team is made-up of KD’s schoolmates and we’re all friends, so, they just laughed with/at me and kept talking. Still, when they put the other boy in goal, I felt badly and said so.

During the game, I was “that guy” even worse. They were playing a really tough team, but they hung in there. KD scored a goal and it was nip and tuck. Then there was a crucial call/no call and the refs (with a combined ago of maybe 28) conferred at midfield. In an attempt to influence the youthful, whistle-blowers, I called to KD and encouraged him and his mates to move and stand by their goal. Fortunately, what seemed like about 28 other parents “shushed” me, and with my hoof in my mouth, I shut-up. The game ended a few minutes later.

It’s a few days later and I’m working on letting-go of my behavior and looking for my takeaways. I need to acknowledge that I’m more competitive than I’d let-on, and I need to keep it under wraps. KD is already really competitive, and I don’t want to engender this further. I am proud of him when he plays well, but I don’t want to focus on that when the game finishes. I don’t want him to feel like he has disappointed me if he doesn’t play fabulously. Finally, I don’t want him to cringe when I get too involved and secretly hope that I don’t go to his games. Borrowing from Cyndi Lauper, “Boys just want to have fun.” I need to support this most of all.

And once again this therapist/parent muddles through things, trying to do the best I can.

There are no comments yet. Be the first and leave a response!

Leave a Reply

Wanting to leave an <em>phasis on your comment?

CommentLuv badge

Trackback URL http://rivercitycounseling.com/auto-draft-31/trackback/