We are officially a sports family, leaping into the world of soccer for the first time this fall and learning to absolutely love it. Miss A decided to leave ballet and tap dance behind and try out soccer and her 5-year-old-brother happily followed her example (no ballet for him ;-). This commenced three months on the soccer field, four practices per week between them and two games on Saturdays. I wasn’t sure how we would survive that but it turned out to be surprisingly fun. We met some awesome families and sitting on the bleachers chatting was a great way to spend any evening. Watching the kids grow in their sport was great too and their games were very exciting to watch and cheer for. We began knowing nothing about soccer, not even the rules of the games. Three months later we have two passionate players and a family that can’t imagine a much better Saturday morning than one spent cheering for their favorite team.
D had an awesome coach, Coach Dillion. Our team almost didn’t happen because there were not enough coaches but Dillion was gracious enough to step up. The U6 league is rather like herding cats. Those kids were all over the place! I remember at one of our early practices, coach said that D had a lot of passion and really wanted to play… but needed a lot of practice. He improved so much over the coming months. Yesterday was our last game and the Blue Sharks kicked butt, beating an undefeated team that previously issued them a huge defeat. D has gone from a player who didn’t know the first thing about soccer to hands-down one of the best players on his team. He’s so fast, he can bypass an entire team of running 5-6 year olds to steal the ball from his opponents. His confidence has soared and he is absolutely in love with the game. He’s anxiously awaiting his next season and if he sticks with this, he could become a very good player. D is a natural athlete and I have absolutely loved watching him develop his stills and cheering for him from he sidelines. I see many years on the sports field in our future!
Eight-year-old A met a real challenge when she joined the soccer league. Most of her team mates have been playing for years. Literally, years. A knew nothing about the sport. She gave it her all and learned quickly. We watched videos about soccer rules and skills, spent many hours on the field, and read up about the sport. She became better and better. No where near her team mates in skill level, she tried her best. At yesterday’s end-of-year party, coach handed her a trophy and a “Most Improved” certificate. Both are proudly displayed in her room. Thank you to our awesome coaches Al and Nick who taught her about the game and worked so hard with her. She wants t play again and if she practices I’m sure she’ll get better and better.
It will seem strange to spend our evenings indoors until the spring leagues begin. Until then, I need to wash these uniforms and hang them up for keepsakes. I can’t believe the fall season is already over. What a journey it has been. I’ve changed too. I never cared for sports and wasn’t overly enthusiastic when they wanted to begin team sports. Now, I love it too. I need to get them out to practice this winter; the running and drill will do us all well. Soccer is amazing exercise. Watching the kids bond, learn team work, build their skills, and glow with confidence? Now that is priceless. It’s definitely worth the cold, windy, and drizzly nights on the field.