Real Men

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Liam has started soccer for the first time. Bill and my friend, Leslie's husband, Jon are the coaches. Their team name is the Red Dragons, but they should be called the Mighty Ducks. They are the soccer version of the Island of Misfit Toys. While these boys are 0-4, they have no idea how lucky they are to have these two Real Men coaching them. I have watched other coaches yell at the kids, belittle them, put winning at the utmost importance. I have also seen parents put winning above encouragement. Don't get me wrong, I am not one of those parents that think every kid should get a trophy, just for trying. I believe kids need to learn how to win and how to lose with grace, and that in the real world, not everyone gets a trophy. But this is an instructional league. These grades are not meant for competition, but for learning how to play the game. Tell that to some of the parents and coaches.

Not once had Bill or Jon yelled at a player for doing something wrong during a game
Back to my point, these two Real Men have more patience in their pinkies than I have in my entire body. I have felt myself be swept up in the disappointment of losing. 90% of the bones in my body are competitive. 10% of Bill's are (except when he's playing Ping Pong with me). I'm not sure about Jon's level of competitiveness outside of soccer, but I can tell you from what I've seen, he's very much like Bill. These men encourage these boys. They realize that these are first grade boys, who look up to them. 

Bill and Jon let them know that, while they can do better next time, they haven't failed their coaches. Their coaches are proud of them. After one of the games, a little boy on Liam's team told his parents that he would make them proud the next week. My heart broke for him. After hearing this, Bill and Jon picked that boy as the "player of the game" then next week. That's something a Real Man would do. There is one player who is hopelessly, hmmmm..., what's a nice way of saying, "completely not talented at soccer?" Anyway, Jon is in charge of calling kids out of the game to sub. If I was the coach, I would be having this kid constantly subbing because he is painful to watch and pretty much a detriment to the team. However, Jon, doesn't do that. Every kid is called out equally. A Real Man does that.  
Liam's not the kid I was talking about. However, goalie is NOT his strong suit :) But Jon took the time to teach him what to do, knowing full well the Liam will not sacrifice his body for the team.

These Real Men have made me so proud to be on the Red Dragons. They are teaching these boys that winning isn't everything. They are teaching them that sportsmanship, respect, patience, and grace are qualities that make you a Real Man. So, thank you Jon and Bill, for teaching our boys how to grow into Real Men (and teaching me about real sportsmanship)!


Leslie Shogren said...

So thankful for the experience of our families doing this together this year! You're so right! Our boys need the examples that Bill & Jon are providing!

Anonymous said...

Beautiful post. I am so thankful for real men who invest in little boys.

Anonymous said...

Nice post, mama. Even misfit toys need someone to encourage them, as one of the misfit toys, I understand that. Proud of the men and even if they finish with no winners, they are all benefiting from this time together. God does not waste anything. Love, MOM

Anonymous said...

Thank you my love for the kind and encouraging words.--Bill

Jenna said...

Well done, men :-)