Soccer Struggles. Reflections, K Week 7

Soccer is in the girl’s blood, there’s no doubt about that.  Her father comes from a soccer-playing country where everyone knows how to play soccer.  She could dribble a ball within a month of learning how to walk (aka: when she was 10 months old).  Nevertheless, she will not play.

So far, Elizabeth has sat out of one whole game, and half of the other – on purpose – because she was being stubborn and wouldn’t go in.  She has also sat out of two whole practices and half of another.  That makes her total at playing on the soccer team: 1 1/2 practices and 1/2 a game.


At the first game, I felt really embarrassed.  It was the first one, in a different town, with people from my town and the neighboring town there seeing that MY child was the one having  a near tantrum on the sidelines and wouldn’t play when asked.  I took it personal, as thought it were a reflection of me as a parent.

But at the game Saturday, she would not play at all either, though her father had made it up in time to see it, and both my parents were there, as well as my mom’s husband.  I did have a few problems with her like this when she played t-ball, but I found that when I got her there, when I dropped her off to the coach, she settled in and played.  Unfortunately, soccer has fallen after the separation and all the ugly stuff is coming up in her: there are daily tantrums and whining and hitting and all that good stuff when we are at home.  Soccer is just another way to put her heels in and turn it into a power play, essentially seeing if we still love her through all of the confusion associated with a separation.  It is a delicate time.

I can tell that part of it is performance pressure too.  Everyone wants to watch her play, so she can control that aspect, and see if they still love her afterward, even if she doesn’t.  Understanding this, I talked to her last night about the fact that she is obligated to attend every practice and every game, though whether she plays or not is her prerogative; she is required to finish the season through though.  I also told her that my goals for the sport were for her to have fun and meet the other players, to have fun with the other players.  The sad part about Saturday’s game was that there were only four other players present, so those four kids had to play the entire game.  The awesome part was that they were having a really great time!  In U7 soccer, score is not kept, nonetheless goals are noted, and our team made one goal, which they celebrated, and deflected another number of shots by the other team on our goal, which they also celebrated – together.  I believe all members of the team are 5 years old, so it was something really awesome to watch as these little guys start to get the idea of the game, and build teamwork at such a young age.  It’s just too bad that Elizabeth wouldn’t participate and be a part of that.

Well, it is what it is, and as I said, she will finish out the season, and probably do it next year (I may make her) because it will be a whole different game, and the bad stuff that is going on now will not be so big.

Share your thoughts:  When is a time that you have had trouble getting your child to participate in an organized activity?


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