I’m a parent of child whose spends most of his time on the sidelines. I know he’s small for his age. I have eyes. The other boys tower over him, but it still kills me to see him ignored.
Only three years ago we were living a whole different experience. We were part of a team with a coach who believed in my son. I’ve never seen a coach since who saw value in every one of his players like this man did. And the boys repaid that man for his support by playing their hearts out every game. Our last season there, we went undefeated. Not because we were the biggest. Oh no, a lot of those games were like David and Goliath. That coach had convinced every single kid on the team that they were capable, powerful, and as a team, unstoppable.
Sadly, the light of confidence in my son’s eyes dims a little more with every game he sits. Why he goes back year-after-year I’m not sure. But it’s not my choice. I clap. I cheer. All the while hoping one of the coaches on the sidelines will break the cycle of disappointment and give my son a chance to play again.