Up until now, it's just been sports day and 10-length time trials at swimming that have moved my heart into my mouth and rendered it painful to watch. You desperately want them to do as well as they can, you don't want them to be upset with their performance, you wish you could take their place etc etc.
Well now I can add competitive football matches to this list. Elf has just started in his under 8s team. Two friends play, and we are getting to know the others in the 7-strong team. We know some other parents very well, and it's a good opportunity to catch up over the dodgy bar coffee.
Last Sunday they played for the first time as a team. They'd not even trained together before as a unit. One mum's other son had started the week before in the under 9s and had endured an excruciating 15-1 loss. It's not that they're bad players; they just haven't had the chance to gel, nor to receive the specialised team training yet. So this week we fully expected the same. It has been explained to us that our teams are not about winning at any cost; they know they're going to lose quite a few before the training begins to show. They lost a good player last year as his parents were concerned the team weren't winning enough. It's more important to develop the individual, success will come.
Will it today, we asked last Sunday? Not quite, they lost 4-0 but they held their own and played (in everyone's opinion) very well. For that mum, she could watch without hiding her eyes! Her other son's match was lost 2-1 but with her son as the scorer! For this mum, I had the added potential pain as Elf was in goal for the second half. Yes he did let in two goals, but he saved many, many more and did his team proud. I am proud of him. Roll on the next match this Sunday!