Tuesday, August 16, 2011

My Son: Someone to Look Up to...

My son. He's persistent. He's determined. He's amazing. For example, last winter he announced that he was going to try out for the high school ice hockey team. Never mind that he never played ice hockey in his life. He couldn't even skate. Seriously. We looked at him like he was insane. He didn't care.
He started by going to the ice rink and practicing every day. Then he showed up for practice. He made the team. To hear his coach tell it was a moment that would make any mom proud.
Coach: "I held our first try outs and here comes this kid with a heart this big (outstretched arms). He couldn't even stand on the skates and when he skated his ankles touched the ground. I thought to myself, 'this is a kid I want on the team. He comes out because he loves the sport and he wants to get better. He doesn't care what his peers think of him; he'll be an incredible role model.' This kid has heart."
(I love this coach.)
So, my son made the team, but he knew he might only see about 5 min. on the ice the entire season. He didn't care. He did play a little more than that and actually scored a goal. He's played all summer in a league so he could get better and he is getting there.
So, he's actually really good at soccer. Made the JV team, was a starter. But, at the beginning of soccer tryouts his sophomore year, the varsity coach told him that he wasn't going to make the varsity team as a junior. Sure he could try out and make the JV team this year (sophomore year), but he should know that he wasn't going to make the Varsity team a year later. Huh?
My husband and I were furious...how could this guy even say that? How would he know that a year from now my son wouldn't make it? This is clearly a joke. So, my son, played as a starter his sophomore year. Then, my son, being my son, bought himself a regulation soccer goal and worked his butt off every day. He attended camps; he did everything to get better. (And, I know I sound biased, but he's good, really; my husband says so and I believe him.) He went to tryouts last year and the coach's jaw dropped. I told him that even if he made the team, the coach would never let him play. He said, "I don't care; at least I'll get better working with the team." Now wouldn't you want a kid like that on your team?
After the first day of tryouts the coach told my son that he was looking great. The next day he cut him.  My son was devastated. That's when he decided to go out for ice hockey.
This year, my son went back to soccer tryouts as a senior (his friends on the team begged him to try out. They said he was sure to make the team...he was good enough).  We begged him not to...he was setting himself up for disappointment. He didn't care. He went through it all again. He got cut. Get this: his coach said he was better than some of the younger players, but he has to "develop" his team. So, it's about him and his program, not about the kids. So, my son is good enough to make the team, but it doesn't matter. Can't even believe this. I'm sick. I know many moms go through this, but soccer is this kid's life. His great, great uncle played in the world cup; his cousin plays professional soccer; his dad played semi-pro. This kid has soccer in his blood. And now, his dream is just that...a dream.
I'm so proud of him...he's now looking into club teams. You go guy.


Cassie @ Primitive & Proper said...

your son sounds amazing!!!! and that soccer coach sounds like something i probably shouldn't type.

Yanet @ 3 Sun Kissed Boys said...

I wanna be like him when I grow up! No wonder you're a proud mom. If he's that persistent, I am more than positive, he'll find a way, Renee. Hang in there. I'm sure it's tough.

He's blessed to be surrounded by the support he clearly has from family and friends.

Jamie said...

I agree with Cassie! Your son already sounds like a man of character... that goes straight through to his core. It can't be taught and it can't be taken away from him. Thanks for sharing his story!

Sherry@Back2Vintage said...

With that kind of determination, he'll be pro one day!!!

Andi @ Jane of all crafts said...

Wow! I wish I had dedication and an attitude like that when I was in high school! I played soccer from age 7 to college and had a coach in college that was the exact same way. I didn't get cut but I rarely played even though I had more dedication in my little pinky then the rest of the girls' not to mention I was also married and working full time. I'm glad his character hasn't been shaken by this. He will be successful because he won't let people like that get him down!

Tammy said...

You have that AWESOME son go out for a club team. Do wonderful then get a scholarship to a college then go pro...then come back and quote to that stupid coach - Toby Keith-
"How you like ME now?".
I am so upset about that coach - bad coaching and maybe he needs to step down from the team as he is obviously not helping but hindering them. It sickens me..my 6 year old daughter had to play a team in finals that were blatently cheating ( they don't play a goalie at that level) when we told the opposing coach he could not have a person in the goal he said - we are here to win so shut up. Seriously? They are 6, they are here to learn and have fun.