No one denies that children who want to excel at soccer should play the game in addition to their team's practices and games, but today's children have less unscheduled time than previous generations and more diversions. Getting them to choose soccer over other options -- whether it be Guitar Hero or Webkinz - can require prodding from the parents.
I have long been a fan of "The Family Circus" comic strip. Perhaps my favorite strip of all time features the family dog barking up a storm in the middle of the night. Dad, irritated that he's been awakened from a much-needed sleep, clomps down the stairs to yell at Barfy, who dutifully hangs his head. Dad climbs back up the stairs while the cartoonist has a surprise for us. He pans back so we see in the far corner of the yard a burglar retreating.