Thursday, 19 March 2015

The Love Of The Game

Last night I experienced one of the most pleasurable hours ever as a father.

For one hour I had not a care in the world, I sat alone on a bench watching my son at hurling training.

Now the first 15 minutes was a warm up session. The way the coaches structured it was excellent.

They started the boys and girls jogging across the hall. Then got them high stepping, big long steps, zig zags and a number of other things. All fun and all designed to warm the muscles, but cleverly would also be movements they will use in matches.

They then moved on to some ball work. Rising and catching the sliotar, balancing it on the hurl and finally tipping it off the Hurley and catching it.
A few kids had trouble with some of these , mine included. They persevered though and the joy on their faces when they got it right, was a look money couldn't buy.

For the last half hour, the kids were split into teams for a small match. As they are under 8's they play on the ground, similar to hockey. Within minutes my sons team had 3 goals all scored by my lad. He was delighted. The next time he was through on goal, one of the coaches stopped the sliotar crossing the line, and said "Ah you didn't score this time"

The match was pretty one sided from a scoring perspective. Although the other team did score some goals. My son even scored some against the coach. What I was so impressed with though was their attitude and sportsmanship. No one gave up because they were losing. Their was no falling over to try and get a "free", no complaining. For those 30 minutes they just played the game, and everyone enjoyed themselves.

Credit to the coaches. They kept the game going. The minute the ball went out. Another was thrown in. As soon as a goal was scored, a ball was back in. There was no time to stop. No parents shouting at their child to try harder. Best of all, at the end of the match not one child asked " Who won".

I know soon enough competitiveness will appear, but for now I will sit there watching, smiling to myself at those small children playing the game for the sheer joy of it.

Roll on the summer evenings when I can sit outside on the sidelines, in the sunshine. Hearing the whack of leather on ash and the sound of children laughing and screeching as they run around.

The Dad Network


  1. This is wonderful! Congrats for taking time out to watch your son - something so many of use parents need to learn!

  2. Thanks. I normally stay a few minutes then head off to run errands or home. So glad he asked me to stay for whole hour, and that I did. Will be doing it more often :-)