Summary: DW has tried out for a local soccer team and won a place on the team. DW is proud of herself and is eager to play the sport, but Coach Crosswire benches her. Will DW ever get to play? Can Arthur’s friends help encourage her?
Can also be found here.
DW was eager to try out for the soccer team. She was six years old and still obsessed with the show Pretty Little Ponies, so joining a team called the Rainbow Unicorns was a big accomplishment. She knew nothing about soccer, just that Arthur and his friends played on similar teams when they were her age. She knew to kick the ball, hard, and to aim for the goal, the right one.
But DW wasn’t good at doing those things. Her try out didn’t show her this. In fact, her try out only convinced Jane the family needed a better communication system. It went like this:
DW found out she made the team when Arthur took her by the recreation center’s office. She called her father to tell him the news first, then Arthur made them go home. By then, Jane had already received the call. DW approached her, telling her the good news. Jane was busy and didn’t seem enthusiastic because she’d already reacted once. DW pouted, stormed to her room, and tried to tell Kate the good news, but she already knew as well.
So the Reads needed to work on communication skills; that much DW knew that first day. After that, she knew she needed to play soccer as well as she could, but she quickly realized she wasn’t that good. Her kicks always went the wrong way. Coach Crosswire tried to teach her, but DW was stubborn, wanting to do everything her way. In Coach Crosswire’s eyes, DW merely wanted to be a Rainbow Unicorn, and on their first game day, he benched her.
“Coach Crosswire, I really want to play,” DW muttered, kicking at a water bottle on the ground. Coach Crosswire was focused on the game. Tommy and Timmy Tibble kept trying to push down members of the other team, but then they started fighting each other and the game had to be stopped.
DW felt discouraged. Her friend Emily was playing on the team, and Vicita was playing too. Even James, who couldn’t kick the ball at all, was on the field as their goalie. Everyone had a part except DW, who sat on the sidelines and kicked the water bottle so hard she broke the plastic. Coach Crosswire didn’t notice. He was too busy calling fouls on the other team’s bullies.
Halfway through the game, DW told Coach Crosswire she was going to the bathroom. DW entered the building and sat down on a bench. She felt disgusted. Being a Rainbow Unicorn wasn’t worth it if she never got to play. It wasn’t fair; life just wasn’t fair for poor, pitiful DW.
“And that’s when I told-Hey, DW, why aren’t you on the field?” Sue Ellen asked, entering the building with Francine. DW pouted, crossing her arms and turning away.
“She was on the bench earlier,” Francine whispered. “DW, why were you on the bench? Did you hurt yourself?”
“No, he won’t let me play!” DW exclaimed, beginning to cry loudly, “I can play soccer too! At least I can kick the ball! James can’t even do that!”
“He’s trying though,” Molly said from the bathroom, tossing a wet paper towel in the trash. “Are you even trying to make yourself known, to do something for your team, or are you being selfish?”
“Molly, that’s mean. You’re upsetting her more,” Sue Ellen whispered.
Francine shook her head, “No, Molly’s right. DW might be a ball hog if she thinks she’s more important than everyone else.”
“I am NOT a ball hog!” DW screamed. Francine shrugged, “Well, you’re doing something to get benched. Do you practice at home with Arthur?” Francine asked. DW shook her head. “Well, there’s your problem. You think you’re just going to improve overnight.”
“Why are you two being so mean?” Sue Ellen asked. DW nodded, “Yeah!”
“Because I’ve been there,” Francine said. “I’ve been playing sports since preschool, but you have to learn to let others play too, to practice to get better, and to treat your teammates with respect. If you don’t think James is very good, then you should help him. You won’t get off that bench if you don’t.”
“Actually, he has to-”
“Sue Ellen, please,” Francine sighed, pulling her into the bathroom. Molly led DW outside, just in time for Coach Crosswire to put her into the game. DW tried passing the ball to Emily but kicked the ball out of play. People glared at her as she tripped and stumbled. She never had a chance to kick the ball again, and DW felt very discouraged.
But later, she remembered what Francine said. While DW hated “dumb old Arthur,” she needed him if she wanted to get better. So she asked if he’d practice with her. He agreed as long as she didn’t yell at him, so DW kept her promise. She asked for help, and she started getting a little better. She even invited James over to help him, and Molly came too.
When it came time for the next game, DW was on the bench for the first half. During that time, she walked around the bleachers to keep her legs ready. When she went in to play, she kicked the ball straight, and with the help of Tommy and Emily, she scored the first Rainbow Unicorn goal of the game.
DW was proud of herself even though their team lost to the Glitter Glitter Glitter’s. She’s improved and learned that being an athlete was more than being apart of a team; you actually have to work on yourself too.
Theme 98: Soccer, Theme 65: Discouraged
These themes are from my Infinite Arthur Theme List challenge, a list of over 200 themes. If you’re interested in participating, let me know.