Both of my boys play soccer in Hershey. It's not cheap. At $85 per child, plus cleats, balls, shin guards and shorts, I had certain expectations.
And, because it's a recreational league, I also reasoned my kids would have fun while learning the rules of the game. We didn't even have soccer when I was a kid, so the rules and regulations are entirely foreign to me.
Thankfully the organization’s website promised me everything I wanted: “The goal is to instill a love of soccer, teach teamwork, respect for opponents and have fun.”
“How perfect.” I thought. Oh, and this year the teams are "small-sided" so the players get more time on the field and more action during games. Even better!
One problem though—my oldest child was the lucky recipient of my athletic gene pool. I kept hoping he would defy the odds and become an agile superstar.
Flash forward. It was his third game of the season and my little guy spent a whole lot of time on the bench. The awesome athletes never sat down once.
This didn't entirely break my heart. What tore my soul out of my chest was when he asked me, "Mom, why do you think I sit on the bench so much? Is it because I'm not that good?" And right there, in the middle of a green field, on a sunny April day, I choked back the tears.
As a mamma bear, my first impulse was to march over to the coach and tear his head off. I wanted to jump up and down and throw things at him. I wanted to tell my son to quit this stupid team and then storm off to our car in one grand, defiant gesture. But I didn't do any of those things. I will say, in his defense, the coach is a nice guy. He volunteers his precious time on Saturdays and for weekday practices. The man gives back, and I admire his winning spirit. Heck, I want to win too! On the other hand, I don't want my son to feel singled out and have his soul crushed.
So I need you help. What should I do?