Bitty started her first soccer season last spring. She had a blast chasing the ball and trying her hardest to stay standing. Because she’s just a tiny little thing, she was knocked down by both the opposing team and her own teammates pretty frequently:
See Bitty right up front with the ball? Right after I took this picture, she was on the ground again. I kept expecting her to get fed up with being pushed and knocked to the ground. Instead, she found a new way to help her team…
When she’s down on the ground, she knocks the ball away with her hands.
Yup, she’s CHEATING! Based on her five year old logic, nobody else is following the rules so she doesn’t have to either.
After her last game, I talked to her and explained again that she can’t use her hands while playing the game. She then pointed out that 1. the teams keep going out of bounds and the game keeps going even thought you’re supposed to stop and throw the ball in. And 2. the other team keeps playing goalies even thought we’re not supposed to have goalkeepers.
Um. Yeah. It’s a hard lesson to learn when you’re five. But it’s the way it is: sometimes, life is just not fair.
Although I love watching her run around in her cute little uniform, the purpose for having her participate in a sport is to teach her about sportsmanship and teamwork. But more importantly, if there was one thing I wanted Bitty to learn from playing sports, it’s this:
You don’t have any control on what other people are going to do. You do, however, have control over how you respond. So play hard and play fair. Play with integrity.
At the end of the day, with all those other things in mind, I want her to have fun and enjoy the game.
Are your kids signed up for summer sports? What problems have you run into with kids sports?