We had our second soccer practice yesterday. Again, it was a lot of fun. This time, I had some rewards for the kids. We have 4 rules that you need to follow on the team: listen, follow directions, be respectful, and be a part of the team. I told the kids that if they followed all of the directions, they'd get a sucker. 2 of the kids did really well. 3 of the kids did not. I had told them that if they all did well, they'd all get suckers. But if only some of them did well, then none of them would get suckers. I think this was a mistake. I had one kid who was obviously trying extra hard. He really earned that sucker. I should've given it to the 2 kids that followed the rules. I'll correct that next week.
LilKat1 really enjoys soccer practice, but he's not as good at it as some of the other kids. I think part of it is his personality. He's very social and he likes to be silly. So during some of the games, he does silly stuff instead of what he's supposed to do. I wonder if part of this is him being afraid of not doing well during the game, and just acting silly in order to keep himself from failing.
I remember doing that when I was little. In 5th grade, we had to shoot free throws. Everyone watched while you shot and your score was the number that you made. I was supposed to be good at basketball. But I knew that I could not make free throws very well. So I started shooting the ball in goofy ways, imitating the shots of various NBA guys, Patrick Ewing, Jamaal Wilkes, Michael Jordan, etc. I think I missed all of them, but it made the class laugh. And it made my score irrelevant because the kids figured that I would've probably scored better if I was actually trying.
I did this in school as well. I rarely studied for tests and never did much homework. Part of it was because I had things that I'd rather do, but part of it was because I wanted to be the best. And if I tried my hardest and didn't get the high score, then it would mean that I wasn't the smartest in class. In high school, there was some competition amongst the kids to try and get the top scores on tests. Sometimes I'd get the top score and sometimes I didn't. But when I didn't, I was always ok with it because I knew that the other kids knew that I got my scores without studying.
Anyhow, back to soccer...I think LilKat1 just needs to get more comfortable with the ball. When we do drills that involve running around without the ball, he has a great time because he's good at that. But he's not as good with the ball (a lot like me!) and I think he just needs a lot of reps to get him used to it. There's one boy on the team that is very good with the ball. But his whole family plays soccer, so I think that he's already had a lot of ball time. I think that once LilKat1 gets that, he'll start to enjoy the games more because he won't have to worry about failing so much.
I think I'll have a talk to him about it too. Just to let him know that he doesn't need to worry about not doing well at first. That might help too.