My difficult child's moods seem to be very related to his sport performances and I do get that. It is intensive and high-stake. Now he is again in total bottom and feeling awful. He has been struggling with sport all fall and what looked like a light in the end of the tunnel just little bit earlier now looks like incoming train that ran over him. That of course is subject to change again in future. So he is having a massive sophomore slump and is likely to recover from it sooner or later. But the nature of the beast is, that for many people looking the big picture is either very difficult or they don't do it in purpose (latter happens especially with reporters, much juicier stories to write that way.) It's a spectator sport and especially difficult child's position is so, that you are usually either hailed or bashed, not much between. And difficult child has earned himself a spot in being bashed this time. That is an occupational hazard, part of the game as they say, but difficult child is doing it so much harder for himself. Arrogance he shows to the world, especially when scared, insecure or anxious, is costing him so much nastiness just now. I can't even bear to look his team's fb site (and that at least is moderated) and even less the fan pages, Twitter and message boards and what people have to say. I hope he wouldn't either, but I know that is a futile hope. It seems that people have decided that he will never have any future in this sport, he is a disgrace, the fault behind everything is his attitude, arrogance, character and work ethic. Stories about how everyone in his team hate him come out etc. Yes, he is a prickly character, but he is also driven and hard working. He is certainly more difficult to coach than some others, but his coach is able to deal with it. He has also matured a lot lately and doing much better in all this. But still, when anxious, scared or dealing with people he doesn't know or trust, he puts up very believable mask of total arrogance and lazy carelessness. And that is what 'people close to the team' (but not in it) see and what they gossip further. And long before it even hits internet it has changed to total gospel of who my difficult child is. And that certainly is not buying him any support or empathy when struggling. Yes, part of that arrogance is real, he does know he is very gifted boy, but most is not real, but just an act to protect himself. And instead of protecting him it makes people who could be rooting for him to jeer at him. I do get that this is also his own making. He made his bed and is now lying in it. It still feels really bad, because people are not seeing how hard he tries, how much he has made progress and how much he is hurting. Or even if they see that last one, many do not care. And still he doesn't seem to be learning how much this showcase of arrogance costs him but continues to do so. And continues to pay dearly for it.