OK, so I’ve touched on the fact the the sport, loves sport, in particular football (soccer for those who think throwing an egg shaped ball constitutes football). As a sport loving dad, I’m thrilled that he loves playing competitive sport. If I’m honest, when I knew we were going to have a baby boy I did have fantasies of football in the park and cricket on the beach and sharing and bonding over the passion of team games. This has all come true and I’m thrilled, what I didn’t expect was that I would be a pushy parent and a side-line shouter. People who know me, know that (besides when I’m drunk) I’m not a shouty sort of guy, if anything I’m pretty quiet, especially in uncomfortable social situations so imagine my surprise and the betters, when it turned out that I was one of those parents I so often sneered at in my middle-class wanky way. I’m not hard core, like Andy Murray’s mum, but because he shows such passion, focus and talent I can’t but help him and sometimes this causes me too step over the mark. I do feel their is place for a bit of a push and a kick up the bum, but it should be balanced with generous support and encouragement.
I am having to train myself to rein it in and keep my vocal gob shut when games are on. I’m getting better but sometimes I do let myself down. Saying that,as the sport matures and gets better with his skills and understanding their is less and less I have to tell him. I imagine this will be a natural process and he will soon be teaching me stuff about the game.
What provoked this confession was the culmination of 2 Futsal (indoor football) competitions his teams were in this week. The first comp, played earlier this week, we had gone the whole season undefeated and we cemented the title with a 9-1 win – he scored 4. That was great but it was all a bit of stroll. Needless to say I was a proud Dad.
This afternoon (Saturday) his other team had only come 2nd in the regular season so had to endure a playoff against the 3rd placed team. The winner would go on to play the league number ones for the outright title. Game 1 – Back of the net – his team won 6-2 – he scored all 6. Well proud. The final was even more of a cracker – we won 7-2 – he scored 4. Awesome, bloody bloody awesome.
I can’t tell you what a feeling it is to watch a child of yours excel under pressure and come through for the team in such an emphatic way. He made me so very very proud. Sometimes a push or two works but if you don’t balance that and let them learn organically and by making mistakes then you run the risk of turning them off the game they love and probably down a avenue you don’t want them to go down. I shall determine to did a little less push and a lot more pull. God it was great to watch.