I’ve mentioned before that Colin coached Warren’s soccer team this season. It was not an easy task.
Not because coming up with drills and fun practice games is difficult or because working with 8 little boys under the age of six is like managing a team of squirrels. It was because Warren had an absolutely rotten attitude most of the time.
I think it came down to this: he had a really hard time sharing Dad with the other boys.
Many practices went south before they even got started. He whined, he cried, he shuffled about in a surly, ornery cloud of discontent. And that was just as he stepped out onto the field. All this moping just to get attention. Unfortunately, it was mostly the negative kind.
At some points it was outright sabotage. He (playfully) would drag other kids down and make it hard for anyone, including himself, to concentrate. He used his natural leadership abilities for evil, not for good, and was at the center of many soccer practice mutinies.
He doesn’t appear to be super athletic, and maybe that’s part of the problem. It’s hard to put your heart into something you don’t feel you’re good at. But that would be OK if only he would try. Or at least not whine. You can get through just about anything if there’s no whining involved.
Colin had to strike up a deal with him in order to get him to cooperate with the agenda. No more running into the other players, or complaining about the assigned tasks, or taking pee breaks behind the nearest park tree every five minutes. (No joke, he claimed he couldn’t hold it long enough to wait until he returned home. It must be his preferred method of reclaiming control.) In turn, he wouldn’t be sent home or asked to skip the next practice.
But I gotta hand it to Colin. He did not throw in the towel. He has been patient and helpful even at his peak of frustration.
It’s now the end of the season and after many, many discussions we’re seeing real progress. Finally. He participates with minimal complaints. He tries to get back in the game, even when he gets hurt. He refrains from using the “hiking bathroom” for the full 60 minutes.
The other day he asked if I would coach his soccer team next season. Or if I could at least help Dad. I was shocked! As much as that touched my heart that he would even consider me, the idea seemed daunting. I told him I was a little scared to take up the job. Would he be helpful? Would he try his best? He assured me that he would.
We have another full year to see if he remembers that he’s turned over a new leaf.