My friend, Beth, was talking to me about her son, Rob, who was a loner and had problems with authority. I was surprised to hear this because Rob had always struck me as a really polite, dedicated, and ambitious teen who was clearly going to get ahead in the world. Apparently, that was not always the case. Before the family moved here from Buffalo a few years back, Rob was constantly in trouble and failing several subjects.
Beth and her partner were at their wit’s end. She had discussions with several school staff members in order to get as complete a picture as she could of the situation. The one who expressed admiration for Rob was the gym teacher. Oh, he mentioned that Rob could be a real smart ass, but he also noted that the boy had definite physical ability that should be nurtured.
That gave Beth the idea of having Rob join some leagues. In our rural area, there are not a lot of choices. You can sign up for things in the city, but that means long car trips there and back that are simply not feasible on most people’s schedules. However, the county opened an air-supported dome awhile back and it offers league play for soccer, volleyball, and tennis.
Reluctantly, Rob signed up for all of them. The change came surprisingly fast: the boy developed a passion for the sports, especially soccer, and he grew to look forward to both the games and practice. His physique improved and that made him more confident. As Beth put it, “He can now be woo girls the right way instead of being an obnoxious jerk they don’t want to be around.”
Rob’s attitude brightened and he became used to a living his life by a schedule. That resulted in him enjoying school more, as well. Oh, he’d rather be kicking a ball around, but his marks are now all solid Bs. I’m really happy for both Rob and Beth.