Tuesday, October 11, 2011


"He has showed you, O man, what is good.  And what does the Lord require of you?  To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."  Micah 6:8 

Last Saturday marked my son’s soccer team’s fifth game.

You know, the team that I COACH.

Anyway, we were playing a girl’s team, and one of the girls just happened to be a sister of one of the boys on my team. Their mother had told me that we would win the game because the girls’ team had yet to even score a goal in ANY of their games.

And that made me sad for them.

The game started out just like any other, with all the kids chasing the ball around the field. But then we scored. And then we scored again. And again. And again. And again.

It was only the first quarter!

I have two boys who are really good at getting the ball down the field and taking shots. So I took them out for the second quarter and I explained to the whole team the situation with the girls’ team. I told them that it was okay if we won, but it would be unsportsmanlike to just “kill” the other team. They seemed to understand what I was talking about.

Then, during the second quarter, I told all the parents on my side what the deal was and they all agreed on the right thing to do.

(Thank you, God, for my second group of good parents!)

And so I started switching kids around, putting kids who like action in the positions of little action and those who avoid action front and center.

Then I put my own kid back by the goal.

As fate would have it, the action came to their goal and one of the balls rolled through.

Everyone cheered! Even the parents of my team! I was so proud for everyone involved. It was a great moment in U8 sports, if such things were documented.

And then…

I see the referee talking to my kid by the goal. She looked to be getting on to him.

“What did he do?” I asked.

And she said, “He said, ‘We’re still going to win the GAME!’”

So I did what any other Outraged-At-Her-Own-Child-Mother-Of-The-Soccer-Team would have done and threw him out of the game. I made him run laps on the field beside us until I forgot about him, and he finally stopped on his own because his side was hurting. And then we had a llllloooonnnngggg talk about good sportsmanship.

Later I heard that one of the other boys had gotten on to his dad for cheering for the other team.

And so tonight at practice we’ll be working on dribbling, passing, staying in our positions, and memorizing our new team motto: “It’s not whether you win or lose, it’s how you play the game.”


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