Throughout our lives we interview, audition, and tryout for various jobs, plays, and teams. Each time we do this, the possibility of not getting what we want is always present. I’ve watched my own two children (ages 13 and 14) experience not getting what they want. For a couple of years, Brandon tried unsuccessfully to play on an “A” team in Oakville. I watched the disappointment on his face when he was told by the coach he didn’t make the team. I saw the watery eyes, and could feel his disappointment. I’d been there a number of times myself. Each time, we sat down afterwards and helped to make a plan for him to continue to improve his skills so that he could try again. This was not easy for him, but I’m glad he persisted.
Last summer, Brandon was asked to train with a District team (this was a collection of players from Peel and Halton soccer clubs), even though he played on a “B” team. A different coach had seen him, and gave him the opportunity. As a result of this training, one of the coaches from a very strong club team asked me if Brandon would be interested in trying out for his “A” team. As we were in the car driving to yet another soccer training session, I mentioned this invitation to Brandon. I told him there were no guarantees that he would make the team, and that even if he did, he should be prepared to be the 19th or 20th player on the squad and that he would have to earn his playing time. I said he could stay where he was and be one of the top couple of players on his B team. That would have been the comfortable decision for him to make. Ultimately, I would leave this choice to him. I am proud to say he looked at me and said, “I want to try out and compete for a spot.”
He made the team and it’s been a great summer on the soccer fields for his new team, and for Brandon. It was the right move at the right time for him. I don’t want to pretend this process was easy with Brandon. But no one ever said being a parent is an easy job.
Since I have two kids, my next blog will be about my daughter, Alyssa, and what she taught me this summer.
Head of School