Interstellar Adventures

November 7, 2007

Put away the Sour Grapes

Filed under: Elle & Zed,Mom Life — by InterstellarLass @ 11:37 pm

One of the lessons that I individually, and our various team coaches collectively, have tried to teach both Elle and Zed is that you have to be both a good winner and a good loser. And both kids have gotten to experience their fair share of winning and of losing. They always shake hands with the other team, win or lose, and they’re never allowed to ‘rub in’ a win, or vice versa, they’re not allowed to kick around and grouse about a loss.

Last night, Elle had a playoff game for her club team. She was goalie, and it was a tough game, which we ended up losing 3-1. Two of those goals were scored on Elle, and she was devestated. I had to remind her that she can’t win always, and that it takes a lot to get in goal and defend for your team. They can’t all be saves.

Tonight, Elle had another playoff game for her rec team. The team we faced we’ve played twice this season, and won both games. We played this team twice last season, and we each split a win. They’re tough on defense, and have one girl that can clear it half way across the field. It’s always a close game when we play them. Our last regular season game on Saturday was a 1-0 win over this team. Tonight we won 2-1. All the goals were scored in the last half of the game, and both teams were worn out from playing their hearts out.

And just now I found an email in by inbox from our coach. Another mom and I had to sub in as coaches because our coach had to attend a funeral service. The email was forwarded from our league coordinator, and contained a complaint against our girls tonight for ‘overly aggressive play’. It really upsets me that the other team would suggest that we were out to ‘win at all costs’. Both teams played hard. It was essentially an instant replay of our previous games against this squad.

Soccer isn’t a non-contact sport. Contact happens, and it’s not unusual to see girls running, shoulder to shoulder, leaning, to try to get or maintain control of the ball. And as long as there is no pushing, shoving, or tripping, there’s no foul. I have seen fouls happen in the past, both from girls on our team and girls on other teams. I know what overly aggressive play looks like, and our girls absolutely don’t play that way, and certainly not tonight. We don’t play dirty.

And what’s more, it’s rec soccer. It’s not World Cup. It’s third grade girls, on a field, with a ball, playing their best. And that’s all we ask of them – play hard, and win or lose, hold your head high because you did your best. Maybe the other coaches need a lesson.

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