A couple of weeks ago, we decided to allow our younger son to join our eldest in trying out for competitive soccer and I wrote about our concerns and decision. On Friday, we got a call from the U8 coordinator that neither boy made the team, but that they would like both boys to join their Friday academy in the spring.
The coordinator, Norman, was gentle and let us know how competitive it was. He also broached the conversation about our younger son saying that the coaches were emphatic about wanting him in the academy and that he's a very solid U7 player, but just not yet big enough to play (safely) in U8. That said, next year, he's someone they want for the U8 team of 2011. According to Norman -
The coaches definitely saw something compelling in him.
For fun, I told Norman that Taylor was actually a U6 that had just turned 6. He thought the coaches would have an estatic reaction - Taylor can play two years in U8! And Norman told me that having heard this from the coaches, he now understood my email asking if my six-year old can try out for the competitive eight year old league.
To tell the truth - I'm thrilled with the outcome. Taylor isn't big enough to play safely in that league with that caliber of player - but he'll be challenged in the academy and next year (Spring 2011), he'll play up more safely. And Benjamin isn't convinced he wants to do super competitive sports - he wants time for music and rock climbing as well as soccer and lacrosse. Renaissance man.
We dodged the bullet of dealing with one child's disappointment by both of them not making the team. Next year, if Benjamin tries out - it'll be for U9 and Taylor in U8 - non-competitive. We're sure that Taylor will get the coaching and cultivation he wants and that Benjamin will choose a variety of activities to explore. Whew. Of course, Taylor may ultimately have to choose between competitive soccer and competitive baseball, but hopefully we have a couple of years before that!