Sunday, October 17, 2010

I Think This Could Be Soccer's Death Knell

"Mom, I don't want to go play."

We were sitting at the side of the soccer field and I was trying to coax him into getting on the field to warm up and get started on drills.  He wasn't very enthusiastic about it.

This is the first week he's been difficult about it and of course he picks the week that I was Snack Mom so we had to stay the whole time.  Eventually, I got him out on the field and he started working on his drills.  When those were done we moved on to the game.  During water breaks he would ask me "How much longer, Mom?"

The kid did not want to be there.  Frankly, I understood because I didn't want to be there either.

Soccer was an experiment.  He asked to play so we signed him up.  I figured U-6 was a good way to get introduced since it was really low pressure on the kids - at least as far as the coaches are concerned.  The parents are another story.   However, it's fairly obvious to me that it's not sticking the way that Tae-Kwon Do is.

When he goes to TKD, he's excited, he loves it, he always asks me when the next class is.  He can barely stand still while I'm tying his dobak and belt.  Watching him in class is a joy because he tries so hard and gives it his all.  The grin that splits that kid's face when he's sparring is really amazing.

The same cannot be said for soccer.  He runs around at the back of the pack, rarely putting in the effort required to keep up.  It's not because he's tired - soccer is at 10 am on Saturday.  When he does get the ball, it's only if he's at the front not surrounded by other kids.  Once they catch up to him, he backs off the ball and lets anyone who wants it, have it.  It's like he just doesn't care enough about it to translate the aggressiveness he uses during sparring into the aggressiveness required on the soccer field.

And that's OK with me.

The whole point here was to try it out.  We did that and he didn't really like it.  It's clear that he's much more interested in Tae-Kwon Do and much more willing to put up with whatever he has to put up with in order to go.  Given this, I doubt we'll even be going to the last two weeks of soccer.  You may think that makes him (and by extension, Scot and I) a quitter but I don't see it that way.  He's unhappy going.  We're unhappy going.  What's the point of making the whole family unhappy by continuing?  We're teaching him the importance of living up to your commitments with Tae-Kwon Do.  We've told him we signed a contract for a year and that he has to complete that year.  We've told him that we will have to pay the money whether or not he goes and that he agreed to do it for a whole year before he can decide to quit, if that's what he wants.  To me, this is the real place to teach this because the time and money commitments are so much greater.  Soccer?  Not so much.  Maybe it's the laid back, non-formalized nature of it that makes me feel that way.  I'm not sure.  I just know that it doesn't seem worth all the hassle if he's not that into it.

When soccer rolls around next week, I'll ask him what he wants to do.  If he wants to go, I'll take him.  If he doesn't, we'll stay home.

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