Exorcising the Demons: End of Season Meltdown
"They think I suck!" Not even 2 minutes in to our drive home from practice this what I hear from the passenger side.
Uh oh, it's baaaack. End of eason Meltdown
That glorious time of year when your player is overworked, underpaid, unappreciated and overstimulated from a grueling schedule of 3 to 4 practices a week, travel every month and a handful of in town tournaments (just in case they weren't exhausted enough). A few responses run through your brain:
"No, they don't think you suck!"
"You don't suck, you are awesome!"
"The coach doesn't think you suck!"
"Do you think you suck?"
All of these could potentially stoke the fire so I ask instead "Why do they think you suck?"
She looks at me as if I just fell off the zamboni yesterday and says "I played terrible at last week's game and tonight I let all their practice shots in!"
I try another question.
"Did they tell you that you suck?"
Utter surprise. "Well, no but so-and-so gave me the look like I do."
Ah, the look. You know the one that means absolutely nothing but whips your player in to a frenzy of self-doubt and hatred? Yeah, THAT look.
"Well if no one actually SAID you suck maybe they don't think that."
"You just don't understand ANYTHING!"
Maybe I don't. I don't play hockey..or any other sport for that matter. But as a writer I do understand the fear and pain of rejection especially when I am trying my best. She'll never hear me on this though..not right now. Maybe I just need to ride it out. Maybe I need to call an exorcist in with a crucifix, some holy water and chant Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice. I go with riding out the storm..in silence.
A practice later it does pass, when she stops everything and causes various teammates to bang their stick on the ice in frustration.
She's as happy as a clam when she climbs in to the car that night. Oh, to be 13 again.
Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice, Beetlejuice!