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"Perseverant..."

 Monday, September 17, 2012

"Don't ever give up....Don't ever give in....Don't ever stop trying....Don't ever sell out....and if you find yourself succumbing to one of the above for a brief moment...pick yourself up, brush yourself off, whisper a prayer, and start where you left off...But never, ever, ever give up.” 

Small towns...got to love them...where half the town is at some form of a football game on a Friday night...you go out to lunch and before you can even sit down to order your food, you have said hello to half the restaurant because you know them by name...kids grow up with the same group of friends they knew back in pre-school....In many ways, I love being from and living in a small town...and I love raising my children in a small town...you have that closeness...that bond...and it will always feel like home to you no matter where you might end up...but alas, where there is good there will always be some bad...Come on, you all know what I am talking about...you can't have a small town without having "Small town politics" as they say...Sad, but all towns have it...including little ole' Troy, Alabama...

Anyone who know's anything about Khristian will tell you that football is that boy's passion...he likes baseball...he liked karate (which is why he is a 1st degree blackbelt..yes, brag moment)...he liked guitar lessons...but football...Football is where he shines.. all of that other is just to fill his time until football season rolls around and he can put those pads on... run out onto that field..and yes...hit someone...I remember vividly his first football game when he was 7 years old and he got his first tackle...he came flying off the field and his first words to me were "Momma, this is what I was meant to do!"... before baseball season is over every year he and his daddy are already outside going through drills...lifting weights...football camps in Tuscaloosa with Nick Saban..flipping and pulling a 200 lbs tire...and even the occational, pushing of the lawnmower across the yard...needless to say, we take football training serious in our house...and Khristian loves every second of it...and I am sure Travis doesnt mind it either... =)

Travis has helped coach every single year...baseball and football...but with this being Khristian's last year on the Rec. Center football team before he moves up to play for the middle school next year...Travis decieded this was the year for him to sit in the stands (in reality,  pace back and forth on the sidelines) so Khristian could get a feel for being out there by himself without him...Khristian knows what to do...he knows the game...he knows his position like the back of his hand...but he lacks the confidence in his decitions...he has always looked to Travis for that reassurance that he was doing the right thing...he has got to learn how to do it on his own this year...so this is the purpose of Travis sitting this coaching year out...

This is where the small town politics comes in to play...Khristian has never had to deal with it before...I knew that eventually he would have to but I was hoping it wouldnt be this year...but alas, the first football practice came...I watched as my super excited 11 year old walked out the door to go to the first practice of the season and waited in anticipation for him to walk through the front door and tell me every detail about practice as he has done in previous years...Instead, I got a very frustrated husband and even more frustrated son...Apparently, there are some kids that joined the team that has never played football in previous years (aside from in there backyard) and were "given" starter positions...not "earned"...but given...and it's sad to say..but it's because of who they are...one being the coaches child....you have probably heard this type of thing referred to as "Daddy Ball"..Khristian was not given much of a chance to really show the coaches what he could do...nor was over half the team...and was put on second string...As the wife of someone who has been head coach, I can tell you first hand that Travis was always harder on Khristian than anyone else...he has never "given" him a position that he did not earn first...and even when he was not doing his absolute best..Travis would pull him from that position until he decieded to give it his all...he has always made Khristian work for whatever spot he was put it....not saying he was the perfect coach but he did try to be fair...

Khristian was hopeful that he would eventually get a chance to show the coaches what he could really  do...but practice after practice he came home with the same frustrated story...not to mention how upsetting this was to Travis...he has worked with Khristian day in and day out to help him accomplish his goal...to be the best...and seeing his son getting pushed to the sidelines..needless to say, he was beyond aggitated...He had said that he was going to keep quiet until after the opening jamboree game just to see if anything would change...after that, he was going to have a little chat with the head coaches...not just for Khristian but for all the boys that were being treated unfairly...Jamboree day came ...after a rocky start to the morning we finally arrived on base at Fort Rucker ready to play...the game started a hour late due to the game before us running long but it finally came time for our TROY Trojans to hit the field...we got a lucky pass and ended up scoring first but the game took a turn when the other team had the ball...you see, our coaches had "told" the boys what to do and gone through drills in practice...but never once during practice did the team have any contact drills...no tackling drills...no blocking drills...nothing..so half the boys did not know how to stop the man in from of him because he had not been taught how to...and here was Khristian....standing on the sidelines...itching to get in...itching to get his hands on someone and block...hit...do something other than just stand there and watch...

I cannot express to you how much it hurt my heart to see this ..knowing how much he deserved to play...I will go ahead and stop here and say that I am not just a mother bragging on her son...Khristian is not the best on the team...there are boys that are better than him  .. he has a lot of work to do on his speed and agility...but when you have 3 other parents come over to you and ask why Khristian is standing on the sidelines when he should be out on the field...you know your boy has some talent...

We lost needless to say, by 2 points because we caught another lucky pass...but was more upsetting was the fact that we played 4 quarters...12 minutes a piece and over half over the boy's on our team did not get to play at all...At least Khristian did get to play in the 2nd half only to get taken out halfway through through...Travis was highly upset and had made a vow that he was going to speak with the coaches and basically "call them out" on the favoritism of some of the players...he knew that things were not going to change but he felt that if he said his piece then he would feel better...on the way home, he told Khristian not to get discouraged by this..that we were proud of him and to keep working hard....

What happened next completly took me by surprise...we got home and I told Khristian to get a shower and just relax because it had been a very long day....next thing I know he is walking past me in workout clothes and his football cleats...When asked what he was doing he said he didnt feel as though he did enough today....so my persistant 11 year old went outside and flipped the 200 lb tire that we have in our backyard...back and forth...then went on to pull the same tire across the yard...back and forth...and then finished it off with some sprints...he came inside with sweat pouring down his face and dirt sticking to his legs and stated matter of factly "I am going to show them why I should be on first string!"

I could not have been more proud of him that I was at that exact moment...he was taking a negative situation and letting it feed him...he refused to let "small town politics" get in his way... he was pushing himself harder...we didnt have to because he had that fire within himself...he was digging deep and refused to settle...he was determined....at the next practice he asked Travis not to speak with the coaches...to give it a little more time...to see if he could get their attention himself without      Travis' help....he wanted to do it on his own...

Khristian's first football game is tonight....and my perseverant son will be playing center on first string... =)



4 comments:

Rachael Railey September 17, 2012 at 5:07 PM  

Wonderful story, I am SO PROUD of Khristian!! You have a wonderful young man there and I pray that God continues to bless him in a mighty and special way. And not just because Sarah thinks that he is cute ;-)

Nicole Kreis,  September 18, 2012 at 7:16 AM  

I think Khristian is on his way to being a well adjusted little man...you should be very proud of him and how he did with this...more than likely this is the start of a confident young man who will be able to handle himself out in the real world...you know as well as I do this won't be the last time something like this will happen and I think he did the best thing possible...good luck and remind me of this in about 5 to 7 years...:)

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