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Saturday, March 06, 2010

Being Soccer Dad...

Becoming a Soccer Dad is one of the parenting milestones that you don't realize you have reached until it is too late, it hits you like a fastball to the back of the head.    Now, you could be a Soccer Dad or a Hockey Dad or a Football Dad or even Golf Dad if you so desire.   They all lead to the same outcome... a realization of how much you want your child to succeed.  I don't think I really realized how much I wanted Dryver and Stryde to be successful until they played their first competitive sport.

Of course I knew that the primary reason I was there for the boys was to give them the support and tools and love to have a great life and to succeed as many times as possible, while also failing enough to learn and be humble.  Yes, I knew that I was here to help them as they stumbled and was there to always be that safety net until they didn't need one any longer.   I always knew I was there to help answer their questions and help them solve problems.   I just never really realized how much even the little success stories would play into these parenting objectives, that I guess are ingrained in you when your child enters this world. 

Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those crazy parents that want my boys to be on the 'Varsity' squad and play in every second of the game.  I am not a parent that thinks my son's don't get enough attention from the coaches or kudos from the other parents.  I never question the coach or assistant coaches or even the crazy hyperactive parents.  

Listen, I don't expect or require anything from anyone, I just want my kids to enjoy life and have fun while growing and maturing into parents of their own.  So, I guess the way that all manifests itself is though little successes that they are able to enjoy in life from school to sports to social interactions to everything else.   What is really important to point out is that success in this context doesn't mean winning.   Success doesn't mean being the star player.   Success is not what you would think it is, at least not for me.   What I mean by success is anything and everything they do that makes them feel good and empowers them to grow their confidence and helps them mature and take more risks and push a little harder the next time.   The little successes as they enter the world of sports include everything from kicking the ball the right way to making a good pass to cheering his teammates on to actually scoring a goal.

I still can remember the goal Dryver scored this year in Lacrosse.  I still remember the long pass he caught in football a couple of years ago.  I still remember the hits that Stryde had at bat in tee-ball.  I remember Stryde letting another player take his place in the lineup, even though Stryde really wanted to bat first.   I remember when Dryver went out of his way to go help a competing player up after he had hit the floor hard in Basketball.   These small things are what I consider successes and are what make me happier than I can ever describe, and until you become a Soccer Dad (or Mom) you won't ever fully comprehend. 

I do understand why parents get into sports so much with their kids.  I totally understand the chills that go down your neck when you feel the same excitement as your child when they accomplish even the smallest of things.   Of course it is all relative, and as long as my boys are happy and having a great time, so am I!

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