When you run a business you have to live with competition whether you like it or not. There is no use fighting it, it is just part of business. The same is true of youth sports, especially if your kids play in a competitive league. My son happens to be member of a highly competitive soccer academy and the competition is fierce from every angle; the teammates, opposition, parents you name it. To make it even harder as a parent, my son plays goalkeeper. That is a tough position to play and it might be harder as a parent to watch your child in that position. They can go from hero to zero in the blink of an eye. But he loves the sport and playing keeper even more so we support him. I just take pictures during the game for a bit of a distraction.
My son was the only keeper for the better part of the fall season in 2012. At the end of the season, however, another keeper tried out for the team and made it. Which is great because a soccer team needs more than one keeper. The other good thing is that they compete with each other which helps them both get better. They each have their own strengths and weaknesses and they actually work together to help each other improve. They even train outside of the academy together with a special goalkeeper coach.
A field player at this age can be moved around to different positions but the keeper is the keeper so it’s a pleasure to see two young boys competing for the same position work so closely together and get along so well. I am sure that their age is a part of that. Maybe that will change as they get older. My hope is that, although they both want to own the starting role, they will remain friends and strong teammates. I was talking to the other boy’s mom at one of the keeper trainings and she said she hopes they remain friends forever and call each other up during college to talk about soccer and the teams they play for. I must admit, that sounds pretty cool.
As I write this I am watching the two exchange drop kicks with each other while the rest of the team gets ready for a scrimmage. Their body language demonstrates the fun they are having with each other. It’s amazing the lessons we can learn from our kids if we just sit back and watch them be themselves. They are great teachers and I need to remember to apply those lessons in my life, personal and business.
VP & Dad