Friday, October 05, 2007

Competitive Tendencies

Here is a picture of The Climber after his first day at Soccer Camp. (There is no actual camping involved, it's just a 2-day workshop but I had to call it something.) He's wearing the hat that Socceroo Archie Thompson signed for him when he visited the Camp. Although check out that signature. Really anyone could have come along and scribbled on that hat. Can't even tell what number he's written beneath it. Doesn't matter though. Look at the happy face underneath it. A Socceroo signed his hat. Cool.

I turn up early today (the last day) to watch the final half-hour. In time to see his little group playing a 3-a-side tournament. Climber is on the sidelines, occasionally offering advice to his friend in goal.

The whistle blows. Their coach calls them over and announces the 2 finalist teams in the World Cup: Australia and Italy. I worry that Climber might not be part of it but turns out he's Italian - Il Climber - who knew?

He has some very authoritative boys in his team. Bossy, even. One waves his hand at Il Climber. You go in goal. Il Climber does not mind, he fancies himself as a goalie.

Play begins. I find myself very tense. If he misses a lot of goals will his little heart break, bearing in mind that this is the end of his second day of full-on soccer fun and he is VERY tired? Also, will he get a fair go with those bossy team-mates of his? And why is he trying to swing off the bar of the inflatable goal? He should be Watching The Ball. So his team can win. Oh Lord. I think I'm turning into an obnoxious soccer parent. Help.

I'm quite impressed with the playing ability of the boys. Italy opens the scoring but Australia fights back gamely. Il Climber makes 2 very good saves, but also lets in 2 goals. And just as the whistle blows when Italy are 3-2 up, Il Climber lets in Australia's last-minute desperate equaliser.

A draw, I think. Oh good. No tears, everyone's done well. But NO!! Penalty shoot-out. Flipping heck. I'm pretty anxious by this stage. Is this going to ruin the whole Soccer Camp experience? The pressure is high on the goalie in a penalty shoot-out.

However. The bossy team-mates do not give Il Climber the goalie job when a penalty shoot-out is at stake, electing instead to put themselves in. And they of course take the early penalty kicks.

So that the balance of the game suddenly hangs on Il Climber's penalty kick. If he misses, Australia win. If he gets it in ...

He got it in.

17 comments:

  1. drama ! tension !

    relief !

    I think I need a shandy ...

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  2. Phew indeed.

    Stop Look Listen Think

    Hmmmmmm

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  3. I was so torn between barracking for Australia and for Il Climber - in the end I decided to just love whoever won. I'm glad it was him!

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  4. Bravo, Il Climber! Pizza for dinner!

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  5. IL CLIMBER!!!!!!!!!!

    Bloody champion.

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  6. Mercy! How very competitive. Over here it's "everybody wins" to the point that it can be a bit nauseating.

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  7. Viva Il climber!
    Liz is right. They try to make an everyone wins climate over here, so as not to damage little psyches. However, kids are smart and they always know the score....And there are lessons to be learned from losing as well as winning. That said, i'm glad Italy won!

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  8. Oh! the anxiety! the stress!

    Good for Il Climber!

    Bet he slep well that night!

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  9. Oooh, the suspense!

    Yay for climber, a champion under pressure.

    That superannuation plan of yours seems to be coming along nicely.

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  10. phew hurraaayyyyyy - Im turning into a sideline mum also - gggggoooodddd and I thought it would never happen to me .......

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  11. Oh the anticipation ... we were on the edge of our seats waiting for the end result ... go Il Climber!

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  12. I got a little bit of the nervous nausea going while reading. I swore I wasn't going to be one those parents, but sometimes you have to fight it back. I am far more nervous for J.T. when he performs or plays than I ever was for myself. And isn't he the blondest Italian ever?

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  13. I have no idea what a Socceroo (or whatever you said) is, but... go Climber!

    Mind you, I am totally uncompetitive and was always amazed at the enthusiasm of some of the parents at my son's school rugby games. Mind you, we're talking Scotland and winter here. I just wanted to get home and have a cup of coffee. Blue sky and sunshine might have helped.

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  14. Tell the truth. How many years off your life did you shave off that afternoon?

    -J.

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  15. Bravo Il Climber!!!!!
    what a great last shot Stomper... and the first looks like his face is going to split wide open...how happy is that??

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  16. Great job and poor goalie I bet he or she got really upset

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Don't let the cat get your tongue.