A few months back I briefly mentioned the stress I was feeling about my oldest’s desire to play high-school soccer. I stressed all summer for no reason as she made the team. Watching her play at the high-school level has been one of my greater privileges as a parent. Not only is she ecstatic to play as part of a great team which makes her so happy, she is also a great competitor that makes her mom and dad very proud.
Watching Abigail play has also been frustrating at times. Abigail is speedy fast – Speedy Gonzalez fast. She gets it from her dad or from her ADHD (so, her dad either way.) In the ten years she has been playing soccer there have only been a handful of girls that could beat her on the field. Her coaches have best used her speed at the forward position for the last two years and it’s been a hard transition for her from playing midfield. Being a forward means she is responsible for shooting the ball – more precisely, she is responsible for making the goals. The problem has been that her speed can’t make up for her lack of confidence. Even though she can beat almost everyone to the ball, she usually gets all worked up in her head and chokes on the shot. Her last coach said it best, “She has such raw talent, she has just been under-coached.” [Disclaimer: She’s had some great coaches, it’s just that they can only do so much in rec. leagues.] If we had put in all the extra time and money for a club team, it is more than likely that she would have been rid of butterflies a long time ago…I am so grateful that her high school coaches have had tremendous patience.
So, as a mother watching this all go down, this year, I made a conscious effort to not “coach” her but to tell her repeatedly that she can do it. Because nothing is more frustrating than knowing your kid can do something but seeing them screw up their own success with a negative self-dialogue. Well, after weeks of the “you-can-do-it” pep talks, she finally shot and scored!
Here’s the shot.
I thought you would all like to see what it looked like when she finally succeeded: definitely worth all the moments of defeat and frustration. This photo brought tears to her mother’s eyes. (I missed the real thing because I was at Sophia’s parent/teacher conferences) Just believe. You can do it. Or like he said – Always, always finish fast – even if you start out slow – especially when you start out slow.