Thursday, October 9, 2008

Learning About Life Through Soccer

What follows is an entry that Brett wrote in our family journal.  I thought it was so cute I wanted to share it with you.  I don't know what is more cute, what Spencer did or how proud Brett is that he did it.  Enjoy!
"Yesterday, I got to Spencer's soccer game about 10 minutes late. I had been asked to clean the church at 8:00 AM but since that was the time of Spencer's game I went to the church at 6:45 and cleaned until someone else showed up and I could tell them what I had already done so that it did not get repeated.

When I got to the game Spencer was just going in for the first time. Rachel informed me that his team had already scored 6 or 7 goals. It was exciting to see him play. After 5 games he was finally figuring it out. He was able to move into the mob, kick the ball out, and then move it down the field. After a couple of missed attempts, he finally made a goal which was his 3rd on the season. He was very proud of himself and I was proud as well.

After his goal his coach pulled him back to play defense. Again, I was impressed with how much he had learned. He stayed back around mid-field and if the other team began to break away toward our goal he would step forward and kick the ball away.

At half time the coach called our three best players out to midfield for a chat. I over heard him explain that he was going to have them sit out the 2nd half. He told them that there were still 2 players on our team of 8 that had never scored in any of our games. He wanted to keep them in to give them the opportunity to score. Following up on this thoughtful move by our coach I called Spencer over to me so that I could talk to him.

I told Spencer that I wanted him to help his teammate Luke to score a goal. His first response was, "But Dad, I want to score more goals." I replied that Luke had never scored a goal in any of the games and that I wanted him to help Luke to score so that he would know how good it felt to score. Spencer agreed and added, "After I help him score, then I will score more goals too." I said that would be fine.

As the 2nd half began, it was Tyler, another of the boys who hadn't scored yet this season, who stole the show right off the bat and scored a quick goal of his own.

At the next kick off Spencer took over. He seemed to dominate the field. He would move into the mob, get the ball, dribble out of the mob and when far enough away from others trying to take it he would stop, look for Luke and dribble straight to him. He would place the ball in front of Luke and then gently encourage him to take it down the field toward the goal.

At the first attempt, Luke seemed unsure of what to do. He dribbled a short distance and lost the ball. Spencer took off after it, got it away from everyone else and brought it back to Luke for another attempt. This occurred a couple more times. However, each time Luke seemed to figure out more and more how to move with the ball. Finally, after what was probably 5 minutes of this and 2 fast break misses on goal Luke was able to score his first goal. He was elated and our sideline went crazy. Spencer looked at me with a smile on his face and his classic thumbs up and mouthed to me, "I helped him score Dad".

I don't know if I have ever been a more proud father. Life is not about soccer, nor is it about winning. Life is all about service and love. Watching Spencer choose to be selfless and finding joy in his selfless service is the greatest experience that a father could enjoy. Having such a positive experience with selfless service at such an early age I am sure will be a significant building block in his foundation to a life a of service and love."


Brooke and Aaron said...

What a great experience. Thanks for sharing.

Ali said...

How sweet! That's so great that Spencer could actually pick up on it and help the boy out after some really great encouragement from Dad. Such a cute story. Way cute that you have a family journal too!! I love that idea.

The Trotter Family said...

That is really sweet and I am sure he will remember that lesson for a long time to come. Brett is such a good dad!

Chella said...

Great story! There is nothing more sweet for a parent, then to see our kids do something selfless. How great that your hubby wrote it down!

Valerie, Jeremy, Jt, Kaylen and Sam Page said...

That is the most beautiful story!!! I seriously teared up, picturing Spencer feeling that jot of serving for the first time...i think that must have been the best game of all season!!! And i love that brett wrote out such a detailed acount of what happened, that is a treasure!!!
we are trying to teach Jt about service, and aren't having near your success...our last attempt made him really angry; i guess we will just keep trying.

Kimmay said...

Now that's what I call good parenting! Great example for us amateur parents. Thanks for the hint!

Cami Bruschke said...

What a sweet, sweet story. I love those teaching moments.