You may recall that the sixteen-year-old plays Lacrosse. You may also recall that Lacrosse is the first sport he’s ever played. Ever. What else might you recall, if you just want a summary?
Well, let’s see.
Last year was his first season (March-May) of playing for his school, in his first sport ever.
Last year, in trying out for his first sport ever, he made the JV team. (Rah rah rah!!!)
Last year, he was told at the beginning of the season that he would indeed play his desired position (Midfield), but also be trained as a backup goalie.
Last year, at the first game of the season, which also happened to be his first game of his first sport ever, the JV goalie missed school due to illness, which meant he couldn’t play, and my boy played goalie that day. It was brutal, but outside of the 8-2 losing score, it all turned out okay in the end due to his great attitude, his team’s support of and enthusiasm for him, and the compliments from some of the people who watched the game after finding out this was his first time.
Fast forward to this season. The Varsity coach, who also heads up our entire program, put out the word that only one guy was signed up to tryout for goalie. We have three teams (Varsity, JV, and Fresh/Soph). This guy is a sophomore but LIVES the game. He has lots of experience. (Same guy who got sick on the day of the first JV game last year)
Our son decided that he would go ahead and tryout for goalie.
“Really?” we asked. “We thought you really like playing middie.”
He stood firm. He wanted to give it a shot. We were fine with it, and encouraged him to do it if that’s what he wanted to do. He was the only other kid who stepped up to tryout for the goalie position.
Since he made his decision, we’ve talked alot about “what if” he makes Varsity and “what if” he stays at the JV level. Basically, it boils down to this:
* He really, really, really *wants* to be on Varsity (who doesn’t?).
* If he gets chosen as the second Varsity goalie (coach wants two for Varsity and one for each of the other two teams), he won’t play much because the other kid with way more experience will be the primary goalie.
* If he gets chosen for Varsity, he’ll get to work closely with the Varsity coach, who still plays on traveling teams as a goalie.
* If he stays on JV, he would be the only goalie and would play 100% of the time unless or until they train another guy as a backup.
* If he stays on JV, he would have a chance to be a real leader on that team, since he’d be one of the older boys, and in that position.
* His actual experience/play time totals are more in line with JV level; playing Varsity would up the difficulty for him immediately, and that’s alot of pressure.
He tried out on Wednesday. I was there. He did pretty well! He made some really good saves, and got some great compliments when tryouts were over for the day. The coach was waiting on getting some information on rules regarding seniors on JV and varsity teams, and the distribution of the list was delayed. Agonizing.
When he left for school this morning, he asked me to text him if I got the list. I told him I would.
The Varsity Lacrosse team list was distributed via e-mail at 7:15 a.m.
The boy’s name wasn’t on it. Heartbreaker.
Another boy, one who didn’t try out for goalie, was in the Varsity second goalie position. Eek.
I had to, in order to keep my promise, text my son that he was still on JV. How ironic that his reaction to making JV last year was so extremely opposite of what I expected it would be this year.
I looked at the clock and thought that I might catch him with a call to his cell, as classes hadn’t started yet. He didn’t answer, so I started the text. He interrupted it by calling me back. I gave him the news and heard the air whoosh right out of his little balloon. I felt like I was giving him a big, sarcastic dose of “Happy Monday! Love, Mom.” Right?
I told him that two of his friends from last year would still be on JV also. He half-heartedly said, “Oh, that’s good…”
It was one of those things where he just had to be disappointed, and I had to let him. As a parent, it’s so hard to watch your child not get what they want, but it is indeed part of life. It still sucks.
In the meantime, I spent the afternoon preparing to pump him up with all kinds of Pollyanna-like positivity that he could go to when he was finished being a little sad. How great it’s going to be: he’s going to get lots of experience in this position because he’ll be the only goalie. He really will have a chance to be a leader on this team. I also found out, after talking to the President of our Lacrosse Club Board (I’m the Secretary and I called her for something else, but of course the conversation drifted!) that he will get the chance, if they develop a back-up goalie for him, to play middie as well: something he would NOT be allowed to do on the Varsity team. Also, the JV coach sort of fought for him because otherwise he’d be stuck training fresh blood. It’s not a totally bad situation when a coach fights to get you, right?
So, it’s bittersweet. We’ll all be over it pretty quickly; I agree with the decision: it really does make a lot of sense. And my kid will be fine with it too, once he’s guarding the net and he’s stopping balls all over the place. We just have to ride out the adjustment in thinking. It may be part of life, but it doesn’t mean it’s easy.
P.S. I wrote this earlier this afternoon. It’s now 6:30 p.m. He’s already reconciled it in his head, and is totally fine. 🙂