September 24, 2003
I spent a lot of time today thinking about Quinton in that football game last night. I was really pissed at his ballerina performance. I've seen that boy play football in my front yard when he tackles like a kamakazi and runs like the wind. Why did he act like such a pussy last night?
Barebacked in the yard, he is a hellion. Put a helmet and shoulder pads on him and he becomes a total wuss.
I need to figure it out this weekend, because I don't want to see my boy being a wuss on the football field. If he doesn't want to play, that's fine. But if he is GOING TO PLAY, then by Bejus PLAY!
You may believe that I am a demanding father, but Quinton will get this job right or I'll make him quit. I don't EVER want to teach him that half-assed is okay. It's not.
If I ever teach him that lesson, he'll grow up to be a liberal.
Is there a chance that something about the uniform and/or equipment is a problem?
Is there a chance that you are over-reacting to a one game disappointment? Chill. Trust us mothers of sons, or ask your Mom. Quinton is bound to have "the right stuff". Somewhere, sometime, when you least expect it -- and maybe not on a football field -- he's going to make you so proud, you'll just about BUST!!!
I have to raise the BS flag there. Acidude is right, coddling him and making it appear as if doing something half-assed is somehow okay is NOT the way to raise a kid.
Today, football. Tomorrow, SAT scores. Teach him to get it right the first time.
Old Hawaiian Saying: Either go big or stay home. If he's going to play, then he should put his best effort into it. [Unless, of course, the BC has been telling him to be extra careful; she doesn't want him getting hurt out there.]
Maybe he wasn't feeling well or had something on his mind - like his mentally disturbed mother.
Don't listen to these wimmen and all their touchy-feely crap. Sit that boy donw and ask him straight to his face.
"How come you don't want to hit anybody on the football field?"
I played my football at Killeen High School in Central Texas - the only two years of high school football I was allowed, as my Daddy insisted I play soccer while we were overseas.
I wasn't a big kid, but I was tall and gangly, and had spent the entire summer before two-a-days started lifting weights. I found the practices exhilarating...loved the heat, the sweat, the camraderie, and the high jinks in the locker room.
The only thing I had trouble with was learning to HIT. Hell, I didn't mind GETTING hit, and I don't think I had any reservations about hitting anyone else...I just didn't know how!
A Coach named Simpson took me aside one afternoon and painstakingly showed me the proper techniques for applying maximum velocity and force using my shoulder pads, helmet, and forearms. Once I was made to understand that those pads weren't just there to protect me FROM hits, but to protect me while DELIVERING hits, I became ferocious, and in the immortal words of Coach Friddle, began to "knock'em into the nickel seats".
Maybe your boy just needs an hour or so with his Daddy, learning the difference between bare-backed backyard tackling and by-God Football HITTING.
An excellent book on the subject:
"The War Against Boys"
You can find it online at Amazon. It's an amazingly refreshing, dead-on narrative about this very topic. But, be warned, it'll just confirm all your suspicions.
Maybe his heart isn't in it because she's involved, period. Playing in your backyard is a 'Daddy-sponsored' event. He's doing THAT because he wants to, he has fun, Dad likes it, Dad is right there, watching and not warning him to be careful every nine seconds. It's got to be completely different for him the other way. Coach ain't Dad, Mom sure as hell ain't Dad...who does he need to impress? He's probably not even sure she's going to let Dad be involved on a regular basis. (Trying to think like him, here. Bear with me...)
If he knew it was Dad able to be the more fully involved parent, instead of her, you might see a difference. Daddies going to daughters dance classes is one thing....and perfectly fine. 'Mom' being involved with sons football to that extent (read 'almost exclusively') is another critter, entirely.
Especially when he already knows that she doesn't really care what he or his Dad wants.
And, that she tries to exclude Dad every chance she gets.
Not giving it his all may be the only way he sees to express his displeasure at the circumstances. I'm sure he doesn't think he can tell her "I want this to be a Dad and me thing. Not you." So, what other way can he 'get out of it' than to not get too involved in it at all? Poor kid. Something's not 'right' about this in his mind. Or his heart. He probably doesn't feel the same way about football in school as he does about it at Dad's.
Or, maybe, he was just having an off day.
But, I feel it's more the former. There are just some things a boy wants to do with or for his Dad...alone. I think they even NEED it, as well as want it.
How hurt do you want him to be? You have to pick a level and describe it to him. How about a seperated shoulder? Blown knee? Let him know what you want. Speak up to him. Don't hold back. What in your opinion is enough pain and damage to earn your respect? Consider how he'll look back in a few years with warm regard at how proud you were of him as he recovered from his injuries. If he is on the field, the coach is obviously satisfied with his performance. You should be also. If he wants to improve his performance, he will ask. If you want to help, talk him into weight training. Build up some padding on him. It is amazing how aggressive a few additional pounds of muscle can make a kid and you don' have to be a "bad ass",... unless you just feel like being one to prove how tough you were when you were his age.
He's 8. It's just a game. Let him be.