Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Soccer Lessons

I haven't been posting lately because the beginning of the school year has hit us like brick. With Kathy working as the cafeteria manager at the kiddos' school, and with me being at the beginning of the school year, we haven't had much time for anything but eating and sleeping (and not much time for those, either).

I have mentioned in past postings that Nicholas is playing soccer for his school's middle school this year, even though he is in 5th grade. Practice and games have taken up every other day and the weekends lately. However, this evening's game made me the most proud.

Keeping in mind that Nicholas is in the 5th grade and he's playing for a middle school team, he doesn't get much playing time. He averages 5 minutes at the end of each half if he is lucky. He doesn't seem to mind, and we have encouraged a "team player" mentality when it comes to sports. God bless him if he has inherited his dad's athletic ability.

Tonight's game was his crowning moment so far this season. And he didn't even play. There was anotherplayer who locked his uniform in the school today and was unable to play. Recognizing that this other player was an intergral part of the team, Nicholas offered his jersey and cleats to this other player so he could play. The coaches didn't ask him, the players didn't ask him. I truly believe that he knew that sacrificing himself would benefit the team. I actually was angry when I saw the other player with his jersey, until I found out it was a selfless act initiated by Nicholas himself.

Whay do we have our kids play sports? To learn teamwork? To learn sportsmanship? To learn empathy? Nicholas seems to have learned all that already. He didn't score a goal. He didn't block a goal. He didn't even play - but according to his coach, he was the hero of the game.

1 comment:

Barb, sfo said...

I just re-watched the movie "Rudy" this week, and one thing that kept coming up in this movie was that all the coaches wished their best athletes had the kind of heart "Rudy" had.
Watch this movie with your Nicholas (it's OK for his age group).
And be REALLY proud of your kid. He knows what being on a team is all about.