When all my emotions have been shared I usually sit and mourn their loss. Many times I sit with the negative emotions far longer than is healthy. I never learned the art of emotional stability. Our emotions are hard enough to categorize much less convey with the mere use of words. Often the words just aren’t enough, they need reinforcements such as tears or laughter to get their point across. Emotions can be utterly exhausting!

I am currently sitting in a field of children, one of them being my daughter, gathered together to play soccer. The laughter, screaming, frustration, anger, the fear and insecurity are all out in full uniform. It dawns on me that my daughter is not only learning important lessons about teamwork, or how to win/lose gracefully, but she is learning how to deal with a whole world of emotions. At this age they haven’t learned to control their emotions. It isn’t the ball that holds my attention it’s their faces, their reactions, their choice of words. Their determination is admirable, the pride on their face when their foot connects with the ball is sheer beauty, they shine with a simple joy in being an active participate. They are learning how to handle emotions that come with responsibility, with making friends, with simply living life.

Not all of their emotions are positive of course. There is the jealousy, anger, and disappointment inherent in any sports. I find myself grateful that my daughter is learning the art of emotional diginity at such a young age. I can already tell, as the season matures, the things that used to cause negative emotions no longer seem to cause even the slightest pause. On to bigger and better challenges. They are on their way to a better understanding, and better control, of their emotions!


  1. I love this! You sound like an excellent observer. 🙂

    I was the assistant coach for an Under-10 year-old team one year and watching the kids progress physically, mentally, and emotionally through the season was fascinating.

    Like you said, they all reacted to things differently at the end of the year than they would have early on. I think that was largely what made being a coach feel so rewarding. 🙂


  2. Your time at your child’s game is much more reflective and thoughtful than mine at my son’s baseball games. I usually find myself glancing at my watch, wondering when the thing will be over so I can go eat. 🙂

    Thanks for stopping by my blog. I appreciate it. 🙂


  3. Pingback: Playground Soccer Rules | EduDad

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