My son plays football. He loves it. My little guy is 7 and is in a division of 7-9 year olds. He just squeaked through the age requirement (turned 7 a few days before the cut off) and barely made weight. For safety reasons, each boy must weigh at least 45 pounds and no more than 90. My little guy weighed in at a whoppin’ 46 pounds. Of course I wanted him in a smaller division but his dad – also the head coach – thought this was the way to go. So after many conversations that went like this “If he is not having fun, not feeling successful, gets hurt, gets squashed, cries, gets nightmares, gets a hang nail, …it is all your fault.” I know, I know, I know, not some of my best communication skills displayed.
So here is what I wanted to write about. There are some awesome kids on the team. Great runners, throwers, receivers, and blockers but no show offs. They all play as a happy, united team. On one of the first games of the season, my little guy was playing on defense. The quarterback of the other team was running in for a touchdown. The only person between him and the end zone was my little guy. Now this guy was at least a head bigger than my little guy and he appeared quite menacing to me. My little guy ran right at him, wrapped him up by the legs and took him down!!! Now that was fantastic for me to watch but what happened next was the very best thing ever. All the boys on my son’s team ran over and were so excited for him. They were hugging, patting (some almost knocked my little guy over) and hand slapping. So very happy for him. Many of these boys had many tackles, runs, catches,… but they knew this was BIG TIME for my little guy and they responded. THAT is what team sports is all about – and I love it!