Football is arranged into A and B teams. In Sport's league there are 2 A teams and 3 or 4 B teams. We don't really love A teams. When the Gym Rat was little, he made the A team his first year, and the coach told us right up front that he would learn a lot but he wouldn't play much. We just thought it was cool that he made the A team until the coach's prediction came true. It's no fun sitting on the bench when you are 10 (or the parents of said 10-year-old).
So we were thrilled when Sport made the Super B team or the first B team. His coach has ties to our neighborhood and he has actually coached Sport before in t-ball and Jr. Jazz basketball although it has been several years ago. Sport has been very happy with the team and is excited that some of his friends play with him. He has been playing Center and that means he gets to snap the ball, which is nice because most X men don't get to even touch the ball.
At the parents' meeting, Coach told us about a plan to toughen up the boys and we thought it was pretty brilliant. His idea was to condition them to within an inch of exhaustion, then, just when they believed they would collapse in agony, each family would show up with a cooler full of water balloons to prove to the boys that even when they thought they had nothing left, they could still pull up a new store of energy.
Then on Tuesday the team mom slipped us a packet of balloons and told us that today would be the day. Prima Donna spent half an hour filling our 100 balloons with water and stashing them in a small cooler. Right before 7:00 we showed up at the park. Other parents were already hanging out, and each couple had a cooler in tow.
We sent the little kids to the playground because I wasn't sure how crazy all of this could get, then we settled in to wait for the signal. The wind sprints were brutal. If a boy jumped early, they had to do bear crawls. Sport hates bear crawls. His body is just not the right size and shape to make them easy. He is definitely the biggest guy on the team.
|No pics from the actual water fight, I like my phone too much.|
Then suddenly it was over and the coach called for a huddle. While he was talking to these poor exhausted boys, he nonchalantly gave the signal. As the parents crept closer, the boys listened intently to the coach's sermon. He asked them what they would do if the game went into overtime. Would they have anything left?
Suddenly we all began pelting them with water balloons. Most of them hopped right up so they could participate, but Sport stayed on his knee and took several direct hits. Finally he moved toward us and I could see that he had tears in his eyes. Then I quietly reminded him that he didn't want his teammates to see him cry and I handed him several balloons. All it took was my prompting of "Go get Coach!" and he was off! It wasn't long before all the guys were after Coach. He was the one who put them through all that agony, so it seemed only fair. I got pretty wet in the cross fire, but it was worth it.
My son learned a valuable lesson today. Even when he thinks he has nothing left to give, he can still pull those reserves from somewhere...especially when he needs a little revenge on the coach!