Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Blunt Truth

Stitch got thrown in over his head on this one. The last competition was Swizzles. This one is Three Turns and One Foot Spins. These competitions are only two months apart. Stitch is feeling some heat and there's a bit of tension in the air. Am I worried? Sort of, but here's a bit of blunt honesty: I hope he takes second or third. I want to see what he does when he loses. I'm still viewing the whole competing thing as a big experiment. If he flips out, then we need to step back and re-evaluate.

Historically, Stitch wouldn't do anything unless he was guaranteed a positive outcome. He didn't even chance failure or losing. If anything, board game, relay race, tag, art project, anything, was "too hard" or might reveal him to be of lesser skill than his peers, he wouldn't even try.

So far I'm pleased with the way Skating his given him a very unique and difficult skillset to be proud of. I'm happy that he has a Coach who pressures him to better things and a veritable fan club at the rink. But this is the first time he's been handed real pressure. He must learn this skill and put it within this program in four short weeks. If all goes well and no one gets sick, we have 3 more sessions with Coach, 17 Public Ice Sessions and 5 Practice Ice Sessions to get it down. He can step up to the plate, er, ice, or he can half ass it and lose. Now is when he sees the real consequences of faking, cheating, blowing through it or trying to whine his way out of it. I doubt skating judges care about his cute little grin, unlike the teacher's assistants at school who let him get away with murder(ing the English language.)

I've explained to him that it's not up to me and it's not up to Coach whether or not he gets that medal he's longing for. It's up to him. He's the only one who's going to be in skates that day. He seems to be hearing me. On Sunday's session, Stitch worked his Three Turns for a half hour, unasked and unprovoked. (He's going to have outside edge three turns down just by mistake.) Monday, Dad and Stitch worked them for twenty minutes. He's frustrated, he's mad, he's even growling, but he's doing it. And getting better. So far, I'm pleased. I think he's stepping up.

However, the biggest test will be to see how he handles second or third place.

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