This picture showcases one of the hardest moments I’ve experienced in the past year or so. I am scrambling to pick five team members from my 20+ players to be the five shooters for our shootout. How do you choose a five year old, six year old, over another?
This weekend I had my last regular season game with my soccer team. Our coaches decided to have a game with all four teams together as two teams. I was the coach of my team (red) and the blue team. We played, screamed, played some more, got injuried, rocked ourselves back and forth, kissed elbows, rubbed knees, and quickly adhered bandaids to bleeding fingers.
After a forty minute game, we were tied nil-nil. So the coaches decided to have a shoot out. 5 players. Evening out the blue and red players. And, because I am the only female coach, making sure at least 2 of the 5 shooters were girls. I choose my top two boys, one from red, one from blue, two girls that had worked their hearts out during the game, and one blue girl that REALLY wanted a turn. I also chose a boy goalie, so we were 3-3 for boys-girls, and 3-3 red, blue.
This caused some ruckus with the kids: I didn’t exactly pick the best players. I picked the hardest working players. This caused the kids to become frustrated, which frustrated me. Why did we have to have a shoot out, anyways? Alas, even our best player didn’t make his shot, and we ended up losing the shoot out 0-1.
But I can tell you my kids cheered the loudest, and afterwards still wanted to know how to do a cartwheel and still wanted to tell me about their school days. Maybe I frustrated them by playing fair and letting us lose, but next week at the championship game, I bet the kids will update me on their math, reading, and favorite TV shows. And I bet they still smile and laugh. And this keeps me smiling, and content.