Here are my two oldest children's current soccer pictures...
I am blessed with four great children, my daughter Hannah is only 7 but is taller than most 12 year old boys. She is going to be my little superstar at softball, basketball, and soccer. On the flip side if anyone has an autistic child, you know sports are a very difficult situation. First my son is only 9 and he advanced early so he is in 5th grade (most kids in his class are 11). He has a very high IQ of 141, and is in the 98 percentile in the state of Missouri and when he grows up he wants to be a Gold Mine Engineer. He wanted to play sports so bad, so last year he played basketball. I went out and bought him a basketball net and we practiced daily. It was only 4th grade, but he just tried so hard, but he would shoot the ball with all his might and it would only go up maybe five feet. He had problems dribbling and running at the same time, but he always had a great positive attitude. Game after game I kept encouraging him, his own teammates and coaches were great, but ADULT fans would make fun of him. One game I heard a dad a few rows behind me say, "who would let that kid play, he sucks", before I could turn around to confront him, a few other parents on our team stood up to confront him. He grew up always being afraid of social interaction, would not want to be in front of a crowd ever, but now he was playing basketball in front of hundreds of people not scared! He may have "sucked" to that one father, but to me I was the proudest father in the stands. He never scored any points, but I seen progression in skills from game 1 to game 20. Will he be a high school basketball superstar, no, but he will have learned some of those valuable social lessons to help him succeed later in life.
As collectors and sports fans, we are quick to tell or yell "YOU SUCK!" Unless you know they are trying to throw a game, we need to remember that these people who we watch are people too, they have their own struggles, their own weaknesses, and their own demons. We don't need to sit in the stands at high school or college levels and tell them they suck. These are the years that help mold them into the people we will respect someday. This fall my son is playing his second sport, soccer and he enjoying being a part of the team. Next year he wants to try basketball again, and even baseball.
My son helps me with my collection (actually it is a whole family thing), he loves relic and autograph cards, because his first relic he got said on the back of the card "you are closer to the game". The relics made him feel that he was apart of something!
Before I leave for the night, I wanted to share something I have been doing with all my kids photos each year in sports. I cut a piece of their jersey and have them sign the card and I make a 1/1 card of them. This one is my first one (my worst one), but I figure I would have a whole collection of cards of them when they go to college! Very cool! I will do that to their soccer cards once they get done with their jersey's this year. I even put on the backs of their cards, 100% game used jersey! What do you think?
Thanks for reading!