Tag Archives: Parenting

Who’s Gordon Banks?

Gordon Banks

Tuesday morning after the bank holiday weekend has dawned grey and cool for the time of year. It’s a bit of a struggle to get back up to speed after a weekend of gardening, footy tournaments, BBQs and beer – and some parenting on the side. 

Sitting at my desk in the office wading through the pile of emails that have clogged up my in-box over the past few days brings back the cares of the PR business and tracking down client work. Where was I up to when I downed tools last thing on Friday?

My mind is still in a fog and I’m missing the weekend already. It seems that life is what happens away from the desk. Comparing weekends with colleagues I found that we had done quite a bit more than I at first thought we had. 

C played in an under 9s football tournament on Saturday. The format was two leagues of eight teams – an A league and a B league. C’s coach put his team in the ‘A’ league. This proved a problem because the teams in that league were of a higher standard and our team would have fared better in the ‘B’ league. 

That said, they enjoyed the matches despite losing all but one of them. After two games C was asked to go in goal because the lad who was playing there was leaking goals and didn’t really know how to play in that position. C did his best and saved a number of shots. The result of that game was a 1-1 draw – the team’s best result of the morning. 

Jubilant, and with the plaudits and back slapping of his team mates and their attendant parents, C decided that from now on he would play in goal. He was now Gordon Banks, Petr Cech, David James and Iker Casillas all rolled into one. 

His enthusiasm wasn’t to last long though. The final game was against the top placed team in the league. Needless to say they ran C’s team ragged. He let in several goals. Often he was the last man facing two attackers as the rest of his team had been stranded too deep by a quicker and stronger team. 

C had the ball kicked out his hands as he scrambled on the ground to save one shot –the subsequent goal was disallowed. When the fifth goal went in he threw off his goalie gloves and began to sob in frustration bringing the game to a temporary halt. Consoled by his manager, the opposition coach and the ref he carried on for the final minute of the game. 

In the car on the way home he asked me not to tell his mum what had happened. I told him that as this was the first time he had played in goal in a competitive game he had done very well.

“You can’t expect to be Gordon Banks or Peter Bonetti after just one game,” I said.

“Who’s Gordon Banks?” came the reply.

After a bit of football history and some positive support he still wants to play in goal. Now my mission – should I chose to accept it – is to proceed to the nearest sports store and buy him a pair of goalie gloves, and he remains as enthusiastic as he was before his torment. 

It is important to have realistic ambitions and not to expect more than you can reasonably expect to achieve. C expects to be an expert at things at the first try, and is often disappointed to discover that he isn’t. However, dreams are important and it is essential that we support our children in those dreams while trying at the same time to keep them grounded in the real world. It’s a difficult balancing act. Just encourage them to keep trying.