I think it was a foregone conclusion when we drove the minivan off the lot. The van didn’t come with a soccer mom bumper sticker but we knew that at some point our Saturday mornings would revolve around soccer games and snacks and muddy cleats. And this was the year that it happened.
All of our kids will at least try a year of soccer and then they can make a choice to continue or not. I think that all kids should play a team sport – you learn a lot about working with others, relying on teammates, contributing to a team, and working together for a common goal. These are all important skills to develop and why not have fun in the process.
Why soccer? You don’t need a lot of equipment to play (ball, shoes, shin guards) so there is a low investment to try it. There is also a great league in our area and the main field is close. It’s great exercise. And Scott loves soccer – he enjoys playing and watching and it was important to him that our kids play. Scott was Juliana’s head coach this year and one of my favorite things about this past year was watching them spend more time together.
Juliana was excited when we went shopping for her equipment and she happily got ready for the first practice and then she refused to participate. In fact she sat on the sideline and cried. Scott continued to run practice and Juliana sat there and watched. I feared that it was going to be a very short soccer season. Eventually she calmed down enough to explain the her shin guards were hurting her. We made some adjustments and things were better.
Of course there were minor injuries along the way, but that was early in the season. After a few months, she started to hop right up and shake up the bumps. The early mornings when the field was covered with frost were not fun for any of us. I tried to explain to her that she was much warmer running on the field than sitting on the sidelines. Eventually she agreed and the cold mornings were easier. Basically the drama started to fade away as she started to have fun playing.
She loved to play goalie and would usually take that position to start the game.
She started to understand passing the ball and running toward the goal when a teammate had the ball. The game started to make sense to her and she became excited to go to games and practice. What a difference a year makes; she can’t wait for the season to start again.