Monday, April 14, 2008

Sports - Why even bother?

This summer I will be playing Monday evenings, either at 7:30 or 8:30, at the soccer stadium here in St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. Jean-Alexandre will also be playing soccer on Monday evenings, starting in May, around 7:00 or so in the evening, half the time in town at one of the outdoor fields at the military base, which is, by the way, not in the same half of town as the soccer stadium. The other half of the time he won't even be in town. Dominic will also be playing soccer on Monday evenings, starting in May, partly in town at the military base fields and partly out of town at around 7:00 or so as well. Maryssa will be playing at any one of the more than 20 soccer fields scattered around town on Monday evenings (as well as Wednesday evenings) from 6:30 to 7:30. Only Gabriel is left to be confirmed, and it's a fifty-fiftly chance he plays on Monday and Wednesday from 6:30 to 7:30 as well.

I can't separate myself into 5!!! Even with two parents, it's impossible, because one of us also has to play... What ensues then is the head-hurting organizational process of getting each kid a lift.

Why do I bother? Because soccer (or any other sport or activity) teaches some very good lessons about life.

You want to be the best soccer player you can be? You are going to need a lot of hard work, repetition, determination, patience, endurance, and sacrifice. You may have to give up other things because you have to go to practice. You will have to eat your vegetables and avoid junk food. You are going to have to learn how to get along with others and work as a team. You will learn responsibility. Your team is counting on you to be there, and to be at your best. You will let them down if you say you'll be there but are not. When you fall (and you will fall) you pick yourself up and you keep going. If you get hurt (and you will get hurt) you heal and you keep going.

Along the way you will forge friendships. You will have fun. You will laugh at your mistakes. You will relax together after a particularly gruelling practice or a hard game. You will win together, you will lose together.

You face forward, towards the goal. You never, ever give up.