The Love of the Game

I wrote this for my son Noah after his team went a whole season without scoring. I honestly believe we’re better off if we let kids play by themselves. But this song is for the kids who keep playing, and for the coaches who remember that for almost all of us, sports is not a religion about winning, but a way to enjoy being alive.

The first day of practice, it was easy to see
Our soccer team wasn’t all it could be
The coach kicked the ball out, said, “Let’s have some fun”
Some kid yelled out, “Watch me hit a home run”
The first game that week was quite a surprise
We were losing six – nothing before we opened our eyes
The score was twelve – zip at the end of the day
Our coach called us over and I heard him say

Sometimes you lose, and sometimes you win
If they knock you down, just get up again
If you’ve done your best, then don’t be ashamed
‘Cause you play for the love of the game

So I showed up the next week all ready to play
But wouldn’t you know, it went the same way
Their team scored first, then again and again
And again and again and again and again
Week after week it was always the same
We never scored and we lost every game
The other teams won and the other teams cheered
While the voice of my coach just rang in my ears, sayin’


Eight games we’ve lost, now how many more?
Some kid asked our coach, “What’s it feel like to score?”
But still I show up on each Saturday
‘Cause I like to run, and I love to play

Last game of the season, what could be worse
Our team in last, their team in first
They’re big and fast, we’re small slow
Who picked these teams that’s what I want to know
Their team scored first, but then we held fast
We stayed in position, sometimes we passed
With time running out, it looked like they’d win
Till I centered the ball and Todd kicked it in
The ref blew the whistle, the game was all done
The score was all tied, but it felt like we’d won
Our coach screamed and shouted, he yelled “Way to go!”
I said, “Hey coach, calm down, don’t you know?”


© Bill Harley, all rights reserved. Reprints with permission only.


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