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Hello - newbie here in need of advice! DS and football....

(8 Posts)
Deludinoid Mon 10-Sep-07 09:51:16

First of all hi and a little intro, I've been having a lurk here for a couple of days and like your girls' style! I'm a single parent of a nine-year-old boy and share custody with his dad. Now really need advice of my own and hoping you can help!

It all sounds a bit petty first of all but bear with me. DS has been playing football for a club since January. He was recently signed up to the B team and was chuffed to bits about that. Recently though a new deputy coach came on board (for the newly set up B team) and moved his positions (from midfield to defence for those who know their footy). Now he was a bit disappointed as he felt midfield was his 'home', was nicknamed the midfield maestro by the main coach, but I didn't realise how upset he has been until the last game (this is after three or four in defence). Last night he was sobbing about what he sees as something he has lost and said he feels ill when he plays now, as if he is "homesick". I know it's not about goal scoring, he just wants to feel comfortable in the position he plays in, would prefer to be a non star midfielder than a star defender. In all honesty he's probably equally fairly good in both, although a couple of recent own goals have dented his confidence (he insists it's not about this though and knows he's good in his new position too).

Now I'm in a dilemma. He is far from spoilt. I appreciate it's hard to be objective but I'm always being told what a lovely boy he is and that at parties/sleepovers etc he never makes a fuss, giving party prizes away to those who haven't won anything. I've always been conscious of spoiling him so on the one hand I'm telling myself I don't want to suddenly indulge his demands but on the other it is not like him to make a fuss, he normally soldiers on with what he is given, so this is unusual and it is important that he enjoys playing football, for him and the team. He is very reasonable for his age, something his coaches appreciate, and I have rarely seen him so upset.

So do I say anything to his main coach (the final decision maker who I get on well with and is a sympathetic man) and if so, what? Obviously it is not on for me to ask that he changes positions, and there are the other kids to consider, but I was wondering if I just precised the first paragraph here and found out what the future plans are and if there was any possibility he was given another go in midfield at some point in the future after a bit more time in defence? I just don't know whether that makes me sound like a pushy mum making unreasonable demands for my spoilt son. But then I can't just ignore how upset he is.

Gah! I thought maybe I would one day be writing such a dramatic post about his problems with girls, not berluddy football positions!

Niecie Mon 10-Sep-07 10:03:54


Sorry to hear your DS is unhappy - he sounds like a lovely boy.

For what it is worth, I don't think you would be pushy at all if you went to see the head coach about this purely because your DS is so upset about it. You say he doesn't normally behave this way so I think you have to take his upset seriously. I don't think it is indulging him at all. I would talk to the coach and just say what you have said here about how DS feels. Maybe say to him that you want his help and that perhaps he could talk to your son about it. It may be that if he had a chat with the coach your DS might feel a bit more relaxed and happy to stay where he is.

Maybe the coach could move your son back to his prefered position either immediately or in the near future, and your DS would have a time frame to work with. Not all children will be as comfortable in one particular position so maybe that person won't mind moving.

Look at it this way, it is like saying to you that you have to do X job when you have been doing Y for ages. You could do X but you don't like it and you do better at Y. I am sure that you would either say something at work or look for a new job. It may 'only' be a game but to him it is serious if he is getting so upset.

Hope DS is happier soon.

Deludinoid Mon 10-Sep-07 10:31:14

Thanks Niecie, that's good advice. I will try and talk to his coach soon, I'm sure he will understand even if he can't do anything about it specifically. I think part of the problem is DS wouldn't say a thing to the coach or anyone else really and it's just as important for him to know that his club are supporting him and know his concerns as much as anything else.

Footy is such an emotional thing!

Niecie Mon 10-Sep-07 10:57:41

Why can't they worry about stuff like not having enough homework or whether they have tidied their bedrooms properly?! wink

I have a feeling the 'girl' problems might be even worse when they arrive. I have 2 boys so I am not looking forward to it. I am sure nobody will be good enough for them.wink

I hope it all goes well for you and something can be sorted out.

babyjamas Mon 10-Sep-07 13:21:39

we've just had exactly the same thing with our ds who's 10. Always played midfield and has done really well in that position. Got back after the summer break and all of a sudden he's been moved to defence (teams have changed from 8 to 11 a side this season hence the shuffle round). Ds not happy - mentioned quitting, which is not like him, he loves his football. i am clueless as far as football is concerned - however we actually left it alone, told ds to stick it out this season and could then leave if he wanted to. 2 weeks later he's back to enjoying it and is doing a really good job in defence. We decided that as it's the coach who puts in the time, it's up to him where he thinks people work best and ds had to accept that life didn't always go the way he wanted. ds was v much in his comfort zone in midfield and tbh i think having to move has done him good. hth!

Deludinoid Mon 10-Sep-07 13:31:27

Thanks Babyjamas, that's really useful. I did initially say to him give it a chance but it seems to be getting worse not better.

However I think it will be good for him to stick it out a bit longer anyway. What I think I might do is just make the coach aware of what's going on (I owe DS that at least, coach won't have a clue otherwise as DS is just not vocal) as it will be useful for them to know, and see what the score is, whether this is permanent or what.

I think a timeframe would be good, if we can say to DS stick it out until the end of the year then see how he feels then the problem might have resolved itself by then anyway. If not and coach aware anyway of problems then maybe a compromise can be reached. I do agree with you that coach knows best but I get the feeling they're experimenting a bit at the moment anyway.

Deludinoid Mon 10-Sep-07 20:54:45

Well I spoke to the coach this evening, went into it saying I knew he couldn't necessarily be moved but asking what help he could give. As expected he was sympathetic etc, knows DS wouldn't have got so upset unless it was important and said he would talk to him and if it carried on being such a problem move him around.

It got to a point where I was trying to stop him making such a huge effort but he said it would be a good idea anyway to give him a break after he's been beating himself up over the own goals.

Bless him. And thanks for the replies, they really did help!

Niecie Mon 10-Sep-07 23:06:27

Glad you were able to talk to the coach - he seems like a nice man. Hope it all works out for your DS and goes back to enjoying his football.

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