It’s spring soccer season here. Mad Dog is coaching and the boys are playing on the same team. You would think that playing in a low-key community league would make life easier for us all. You would think.
I have not one, but three very opinionated and strong-willed men to manage. Let’s start with Full Speed. He has been blessed with lots of natural athletic ability. He was not blessed with an automatic good attitude. He only seems to invest his energy in the game if his team is winning and all his goal shots fall unobstructed into the opposition’s net. Since, these are highly impossible expectations, he spends a lot of his play time with a stinky attitude. Guess who this drives bananas? Coach. Yep, Coach Mad Dog’s frustration rises with each apathetic kick that Full Speed delivers. It’s a vicious cycle. And, the car rides home after the game are not fun.
You may wonder what little T.Puzzle doing in all this mayhem. He is playing up an age bracket to keep him challenged and for the simplicity of having both boys on the same team. At first, he was all for it. As the season wears on, he has some serious doubts. He is kind of missing his U8 team right about now. I spend a lot of time after each game validating all the injuries he sustained at the feet of much larger 8 and 9 year olds. His little seven-year old ego needs a lot of extra attention and it’s never fun to see him get illegally slide tackled by a giant third grader. Unfortunately, I’m pretty sure Moms are not allowed to slide tackle anyone who messes with their baby. Which is too bad really because my slide tackling skills are pretty sweet.
It had gotten to the point where I was ready to throw in the towel. Then, a miracle happened. Even though we ended up losing our last game 3-2, Full Speed managed to play with a good attitude for its entirety. This shifted the dynamic with Mad Dog and made the loss and car ride home bearable. As for little T.Puzzle, he still sustained a few injuries but his confidence remains intact. When asked by Mad Dog three ways he could improve, T.Puzzle was at a loss. Apparently, in his mind, he does everything soccer-related awesome.
All I can do is manage the talent to the best of my ability. I have my work cut out for me.