The Photo Gallery 166: November

boys rugby scrum

These have been my Sundays during November.
Standing in cold, muddy, biting winds to watch both my kids play rugby.
Our mornings are filled with “where’s my water bottle?”. “Mum, I can’t find my gum shield”. “Did anyone see my other boot?” as we all race around the house to be out in time.

Sport pretty much takes over our Sundays, but the benefits far outweigh the cons.
Every Sunday they spend two hours expending lots of energy. They listen to coaches who teach them discipline, respect – both for each other and for the opposition – sportsmanship, how to win and how to lose, how to listen, how to better themselves and how to support their team mates.

This week our grassroots squad faced their Goliath. A big name, local team with numerous players to call on and the might of near professional coaches behind them.
The players were huge; a wall of lads who looked two school years older than our boys.
They strode on the pitch at our home ground with the confidence of numerous wins behind them; other clubs trampled under their perfectly coached boots.
And yes they won the first game. Not easily, they had to work hard, but they won.
But the second game was a different matter. This time they didn’t win. They drew and as our boys walked off the pitch we parents cheered for their bravery, their grit and determination and for digging their heels in and playing hard.

I never ‘got’ sporty parents before. I can’t abide the yelling, the criticism, the taunting I’ve seen. The supremely pushy parents telling their kids they’re the best, never encouraging team play when they were on a squad of others.
But this feels good. The supportive parents yelling encouragement for other kids – even the opposition. The dads patting their sons on the back and telling them how proud they are of their efforts, even in defeat. The warm feeling that flows up from the pit of your stomach when your player walks off that pitch utterly worn out, but with the most beautiful smile on his muddy face.

November has been a month of all this. Bring on December!
I’m also linking this post up to Jane at Diary of a Desperate Exmoor Woman who wrote the post: Back off, pushy sport parents on this very subject.

This post is for week 166 of The Photo Gallery: November.
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27 Responses to The Photo Gallery 166: November

  1. Liz says:

    I never really had the pleasure of standing in a muddy field on a cold morning, as No 1 Son's sports were tennis and fencing… so lots of championships but mostly in the dry/warm. However, I LOVE rugby. I would happily stand in a muddy field to see a match… particularly if it featured the might (and thighs) of the All Blacks 😉
    My recent post November snapshots

  2. K-Ville says:

    I always discouraged Cog from doing the cold, muddy sports, indoor winter tennis isn't very civilised! I played Saturday hockey for years, my parents never came t watch. It's great that things these days seem so much more a 'family affair'.
    My recent post The Last Post

  3. sarahmo3w says:

    I totally get you on this. It’s cold out there and sometimes you feel you’d like a week off, but there really is no better way to spend a Sunday morning. Even better when your team wins – and better again when they’re up against it!

  4. Adele says:

    I'd be there on that side line too if we had rugby but sadly we don't. I love the idea of team sports, I played hockey for around ten years as a youngest and loved it but I can't see my kids participating in a sport here. I want them to learn sportsmanship and respect for other players but sadly here the aim is to be perfect and at all costs win, and for one day we'd have to spend more than eight hours practicing, game and game breakdown then more practice. Over the top for a seven year old I think. I would love to see a good game of rugby though
    My recent post The Gallery: November

  5. I am an over enthusiastic sports mum…..

    Don't do rugby as yet, so Sundays are still my own, the rest of the week is pretty much spoken for . X
    My recent post What do you keep under your breast?

  6. Mama Owl says:

    I know exactly what you mean, our Sundays are Rugby then home for a quick lunch (if we're lucky) and back out for Football, but my boys love it and I wouldn't have it any other way!
    My recent post Christmas Meal Plan 2013

  7. mummybarrow says:

    I can smell the mud and cold from here!
    My recent post The Gallery — November

  8. tamingtwins says:

    After being told by the Dr he's no longer allowed to play, my husband is already warming up to stand by the sidelines and my two are not even two yet. I sniff the waft of a pushy parent.. Love the moment you've captured.
    My recent post The Art of Inefficient Leaf Collecting

  9. helvetiahandmade says:

    Ooh, watching from the sidelines on a cold weekend morning. Hope you get a hot chocolate as a reward when you get home

  10. Oh I wonder what my son would like doing when he is older?!
    My recent post The Gallery: November

  11. Pingback: The Gallery: November | Mymumdom

  12. Sarahleaf08x says:

    I actually miss standing watching sports from the side line! My brother use to play footy 😀 x
    My recent post November #TheGallery

  13. SusanKMann says:

    I have this with my boys and football, but thankfully it's indoors so far. It's great they love sport and great to watch. Proud mummys x
    My recent post The Gallery 166 – November

  14. Catherine says:

    We've done plenty of that on Saturdays (football) and Sundays (Rugby). The joys of muddy play! mmm…and washing 😉
    Great post as usual. I have linked up a November post myself !
    My recent post Click one of the post titles above to include it at the end of your comment

  15. Notmyyearoff says:

    Bet the muddy smiles really make it worth it!
    My recent post Dearest Toddler – 2 Years and 11 Months

  16. This time of year I’m quite thankful the kids don’t do outdoor sports hehe! My dad was a very pushy parent when it came to sports but I agree that support regardless of winning or losing is best 🙂 x

  17. Pingback: The Gallery: November » The Go To Mum

  18. Charly Dove says:

    What a wonderful post Tara. It must be great watching Dan play every week. We're huge rugby fans here so I'm sure we'd be doing the same if POD where a boy, a bit older and enjoyed playing. Lots of if's there but you know what I mean! Such a great result for your boy, everyone must have been really chuffed 🙂
    My recent post November

  19. Mrs Darling says:

    Great shot and how lovely! Mine are still small so although we spend a lot of Sunday's outdoors it's walks to the park etc so a lot more peaceful – My husband has always looked forward to taking his children to play sports at the weekend so I hope as they get bigger they find something like this that they, and that we all can, love x
    My recent post November – in one photo

  20. Kate on Thin Ice says:

    Lovely shot that really gets over the joy of sport. Mine are not very sporty but you sell it very well in this post.

  21. All I remember about my son's brief participation in sports was the achy legs, frozen toes and a numb nose. Your experiences sound much more positive!
    My recent post The Gallery – November

  22. I have all this to look forward to in the future, although I'm dreading it as I really struggle in the cold!
    My recent post November – The Gallery

  23. Salma says:

    Ah the joys of parenting…
    My recent post {take a picture mama}

  24. lauracymft says:

    I really don't get these pushy parents, sports or otherwise. It's great to hear that the parents involved in the rugby team aren't like that. I think encouragment and praise no matter what goes a long way. Well done to them!
    My recent post November #TheGallery

  25. exmoorjane says:

    Yup, with you totally Tara – and huge thanks for linking to my post. 🙂

    I also wrote something on why I heartily approve of rugby for children on my other blog:

  26. jacq says:

    A great photo and a lovely story too. Congratulations to your son's team on the draw 🙂
    My recent post The Gallery: November

  27. mummyglitzer says:

    I often wonder what, if any, sport my son will take part in. We live near a local rugby club and my family are rugby fans so I suspect it will be that. Personally I am not looking forward to standing in the cold though!
    My recent post The Gallery – November

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