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My son sucks at football. He is the worst on the team

(60 Posts)
QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:48:03

and my mistake was that I did not straight away tell him "Rubbish", when he said this.

I was honest. I told him I thought he had played really good football this tournament, I was really proud of him as he has improved immensly. He said he was the worst, and I said no, but there were a few really good players and he cant expect to be as good as boys who has been playing for so much longer than him.

He was devastated. I have always believed in honesty, so I asked him "would you believe me if I told you I thought you were as good as the three star players on the team"

He had no reply.

So, how should one best handle this sort of thing? When your child is keen on a sport, enjoys the sport, the team spirit, but is not as good as some fo the others, yet wants desperatly to be?

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:48:57

erm to clarify, he did not say "My son sucks at football. He is the worst on the team" he said " I suck at football. I am the worst on the team"

courtneylovescox Sun 20-Sep-09 20:50:49

tell him all the other players are planks and he was by far the best

Hassled Sun 20-Sep-09 20:53:33

I think what you did was quite right. Learning that other people will be better than you at some stuff is hard, but it has to be learnt.

Would it really be better to say "Rubbish, you're a great player", only for him to start doubting all your opinions when he works out for himself that he's not a great player? Either he just wouldn't believe anything you said in the future, or he'd have a monstrous ego and be unbearable.

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:53:38

Even if it was not true?
He did not score any goals, and other boys scored goals?

He worked really hard, and gave it his very best. At times. When not trying to persuade the other kids to look at the pretty rainbow, and doing cartwheels of joy now and then.

I thought it better to praise his efforts and his great improvement, but I guess I was wrong?

He really just wanted to hear he was really good?

Lilyloo Sun 20-Sep-09 20:54:31

I think what you did was just right. Build his confidence by praising what he did well and encourage him to practice , practice , practice.
There will always be better footballers but let him know aspiration is a good thing.
Am sure those three star players are all aiming to be as good as ....

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:54:37

Hassled, that is what I thought. I have always believed in an honest approach, and I never wanted to give my son a reason to doubt my word.

CarGirl Sun 20-Sep-09 20:54:56

You do the "oh, hmmm, so you feel that you weren't so good on the team today?" and avoid saying anything about how you think he is.

I think the "I thought he had played really good football this tournament, I was really proud of him as he has improved immensly" was fab though.

Good old "How to talk so kids will listen" is what you needed in that situation.

Urgh I hate this parenting lack, it's so flippin hard ain't it?

courtneylovescox Sun 20-Sep-09 20:56:06

yes! you have to tell them they're great alot

franklymydear Sun 20-Sep-09 20:56:19

you did fine

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:56:26

He was playing tennis before, but he gave that up and started football.

He was good at tennis. I told him, he had been really good at tennis, and given it up. Much better than the really good footballers. One has a brother who is a pro, an the other is the son of the coach.

Lilyloo Sun 20-Sep-09 20:56:38

The goal scorers aren't always the best footballers , help him see how each part of the team makes the goal.

franklymydear Sun 20-Sep-09 20:57:16

talling a kid they're great at something they're not natrually great at devalues the things they are good at or work hard at

empty praise leads nowhere

unless of course he's 4 or something

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:58:41

It is really hard, and sometimes it is so tricky to know what to say. I WANT to bolster his ego, I WANT to build his confidence, I want him to believe he can do ANYTHING he sets his mind to (within reason), and I also want him to think I believe in him and think he is doing great, even if he is just in the region of average. Average is good. He worked hard, and he improved, to me that was great to see! He doesnt have to be perfect, though, he thinks he has to....

liahgen Sun 20-Sep-09 20:58:58

where does he play in his team? Defence? wings? He obviously not a striker?

Each player brings something to the team, if he couldn't hack it, I'm sure the coach would be subbing him, especially at tournaments.

All boys have their off days

how old is he?

Hassled Sun 20-Sep-09 20:59:24

I've just (sort of) been discussing this with DS2, watching X Factor. There were these truly truly awful cousins with a deluded family on it, and DS2 (11) said if I wanted to go on X Factor and you knew I couldn't really sing, you would stop me, wouldn't you ? Honesty is nearly always the best policy. As long as you're tactful, and it sounds like you were.

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 20:59:46

Yes lilyloo, and today he was instrumental in scoring a goal, as he tackled another boy, and passed the ball onto a boy in a better position to score, and this boy scored. To ME that was great football.

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 21:01:48

He is just 7. So he does not have a "usual" place in the team yet, they all seem to circulate quite a bit. The idea is that every boy should have a go, and nobody is kept out, not even for tournaments. Even the really good ones has to spend some time on the bench during a game.

liahgen Sun 20-Sep-09 21:02:46

see that was good football, setting up the goal is soo important, if all those pieces hadn't been in place, the other boy wouldn't have made that goal.

We play junior league football, (ds's 12 and 6) and it's bloody soul destroying sometimes. ds1 used to get so upset sometimes. I tell you what made him think more of himself, putting him in a team with less fantastic players in it, this way, he got a game every week, and scored 14 goals last season

Lilyloo Sun 20-Sep-09 21:02:48

Quint exactly , lot's of boys want to be the goal scorers but the ones who get noticed will be the ones who work for the best of the team.
You can still be honest and tell him what he has done well and what he could work at.
I have a 7 year old who get's very frustrated especially when the team loose and beats himself up about it. Your not alone grin

liahgen Sun 20-Sep-09 21:04:48

just seen he's only 7, is he playing under 8's then?

You did the right thing, he played a good game by the sound of it. Is their coach a positive kind of chap? That makes a difference too.

ds2 is just starting to train for under 8's, so we've got all this to come as the season progresses, (again)

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 21:05:41

It was awful today. The tournament came at the end of the series. Since June, the have lost only ONE game. So the "football federation" decided to even the chances a little and set them up to compete against teams in a year group above. His group were all 2002's, and they were playing against 2001's, and some of the teams had one or two players born in 2000. They won half the games and lost the other half. They were crushed.

Lilyloo Sun 20-Sep-09 21:06:33

Liahgen i remember ds coach saying to the team that no matter their level of skill there will always be a team for everyone who wants to play football , is very true.
Quint ds will find his place , with many more ups and downs to come i am sure grin
fwiw my ds can read the game well and more often than not sets his team mates up to score the goals. He has been chosen to attend a centre of excellence for our local premiership team so tell your ds it's not all about scoring the goals!!
Good luck especially for the coming winter months wink

QuintessentialShadow Sun 20-Sep-09 21:08:00

What was awful was the crushed spirit of the boys. They ALL thought they played horrible football, us grown ups were really impressed with them.

I really question the judgment to let them play against teams with older boys, just because it is a good team. It was not good for their morale.

First game at 8 am this morning, they lost, and their morale was really bad.

I guess they need to learn to lose also, so as not to get cocky and overconfident, but it was sad to see them so downbeat.

ingles2 Sun 20-Sep-09 21:08:02

How old is he Quint?
I frequently face this...ds1(nearly 10) is good, no two ways about it, he's in the town A team
he's not the best, most dynamic, goal scoring player and never will be.
I take your approach and am honest, football unfortunately is a competitive sport and children are not daft, they know who the "best" is... but quite often their idea of best is not the same as mine.
ds1 admires one boy who is really fast and always scores, he's not a team player though and I always point this out when ds gets despondant.
look for things your ds is best at that day, from listening to the coach, to best team player, most effort etc, no point giving a sweeping, you're the best, he won't believe you.

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