My oldest son has been playing organized sports since he was 3 years old. I honestly think that it’s a bit ridiculous to start a kid at that age, but I fully admit that preschool “organized” sporting events are some of the most entertaining things to watch.
But, as we don’t have any family here in our city and we kept expanding our little family from 3 to 4 to 5 in a period of 5 years, just making it to the practices and games could be quite hectic. I usually let my husband take the lead on the kiddie sports which keep occurring year round (except for sweet, sweet Summer where we actually have time to breathe), because he is the athletic one and enjoys the Father/Son bonding experience. I hang back and watch the little ones from the sidelines, occasionally getting a peak at the actual game in between chasing down a rogue toddler and his big sister.
This year, my daughter decided that she would like to try soccer too, and since my older two are only 17 1/2 months apart and my son has a late birthday, they would be in the same age division which meant they could be on the same team. My husband signed up to coach them and thus our 4th bout with soccer season began.
Now, my daughter takes after me when it comes to athleticism and after my husband when it comes to attention span; not the greatest combo for sports, but we wanted her to have a shot playing anyway.
The morning of the first game we woke up, got everyone into their stylish soccer wardrobes, with the addition of long sleeves and jackets because, naturally, our sunny Florida weather was reaching a high of 45 degrees that day (as opposed to 75 degrees the following week – go figure), and we headed off to the field for a day of fun.
My daughter got the ball very quickly into the first quarter and proudly kicked it down the field.
What she didn’t realize was that she was kicking it the wrong way so everyone began yelling, “the other way, the other way,” to her from the sidelines. She then stopped abruptly, right before she accidentally scored a point for the other team and my son got the ball from her and headed back in the right direction.
It was priceless as she looked over to the sidelines, hands up in the air in surrender, and squealed in a pathetic voice, “I just don’t understand this AT ALL!” (She also didn’t understand why everyone started laughing at that point). I am proud to say that she did keep going and she got the hang of it as the game went on.
It was freezing and aforementioned toddler was a mess from the moment we arrived, and eventually ended up rolling in a puddle that had accumulated on the slide at the park playground, resulting in our leaving by halftime. I was glad to see that my daughter was enjoying the game once she got the hang of it and my son was dominating like the 4th year veteran that he is. The final score was 18-1 and only because Coach relegated my son to goalie after he kept scoring and scoring against the poor kid on the other team.
They followed up the next week by beating another team with a similarly one-sided score. Not too shabby. Will my daughter play soccer again after this year? Probably not considering she is also taking gymnastics and has aspirations to be a pop-star/supermodel right now. But, I’m proud of her for at least trying and for hanging in there even when she JUST DIDN’T UNDERSTAND IT AT ALL!
Will I ever get to just chill on the sidelines with the other parents and actually be able to watch a game? Let’s hope so! For now, I’ll have to be content just getting a few random pictures and rooting from wherever my toddler allows me to be during game time. Go Rascals!