Watching my son’s second ever football training session I am more convinced now than ever that football was invented as a disguise, excuse, whichever, no difference, to act like a caveman and I’m not being critical. Trust me, I am ever so grateful for this thing called football. Now we finally have a reason for Beau to do all things I have been tearing my hair out trying to get him to stop doing since he could walk. Here I thought I was an ineffective model, mother and disciplinarian but really, I was just fighting DNA and who can fight DNA?
Watching 6 year old boys learn to tackle, dive for balls, kick the daylights out of something and seem non-pulsed by the spit build up in their mouth guard seems like the most natural and normal thing for a boy to do. It makes brushing teeth, eating with cutlery, speaking softly and keeping arms to self to be the foreign concepts.
So I have come to a conclusion…. Football is genius. It allows boys to be boys by doing what comes natural under civilised conditions with rules disguising the whole experience as a sport. Even I feel more civislised sending my boy outside to play footy rather than acting like a caveboy despite the little difference between the two. Don’t believe me? Consider this … while at the training session I am watching these boys take turns tackling some oversized stuffed boxing bag, melding into the whole tackle thing like ducks to water. There are what I call the ‘leapers’ that run at full speed before taking a mighty leap at the bag like a caveman would have leapt on dinner and no catch means no dinner. This explains their determination to flatten the bag, being non-deterred by saliva build up and the fierce roars as they approach what’s on the menu; yes roars, these boys were roaring. They don’t need to be taught to roar… instinct perhaps?
Then there are the ‘steamers’ where they run full pelt towards the bag, gradually getting lower and lower (aiming for the legs apparently) and then BAM, like a steam train hitting a mattress, a move handy for knocking dinner unconscious. Believe me now? I always thought men in football played the way they did to suit the rules and strategies of the game. Now I see I had it backwards; the game was geared around the instincts and DNA of the boy/man.
Above is a photo of Beau at his first match where I actually cheered at a football game. He managed to run in the right direction, scored two goals, tries, something like that, and drank water by squirting it into his mouth. Yep, my son is now a ‘footy’ player. As for me, I’ve connected the dots, embraced DNA and see football as a gift to mums.