Sunday, May 23, 2010

A Sad Farewell to Springtime Soccer

Today marked the end of spring soccer - a sad day for E who determined this season that maybe soccer isn't all that bad after all.


Go back.

Last fall I signed up the girls for soccer because V wanted to play, and E needed a physical activity. Plus, I figured if she didn't learn the basics of soccer now, she'd never have a chance to hit the field in a game if she decided to pick it up later. (Teams around here are incredibly competitive, and players start at age 3 and 4 around here.)

On the first day of fall soccer, V was elated; E was borderline tears.

But as the season progressed, E found herself enjoying game days, despite the fact she never touched a ball during her gameday field time. Her coach was competitive, but still played her quite fairly, and cheered her all the way.

Fast forward to spring soccer sign ups.

I figured V would want to play again. She particularly enjoyed practices last fall, but it turns out game days really weren't her thing. So, when spring sign ups came around, she opted out. But lo and behold, E volunteered!

When E discovered spring soccer involved co-ed teams and a male coach, she was less than pleased, she told me on our walk home from the first night of practice. "But today was really fun! I like it!" Indeed, playing on a team with a friend she'd known for some time as well as an incredibly thoughtful, friendly, fun-loving teammates was a major plus. And the coach was fantastic - knowledgeable, but able to get the kids involved in game-like drills that taught them skills while they were having a hoot, but best of all, he laughed his way through every single game, regardless of the mistakes the kids were making on the field. "Good job," and "That's OK," were his mantras.

As the season wrapped up, E began asking why soccer can't be a summer sport, too, and started looking forward to her next season of ball. While she did score her first goal this season, I'm most proud that she found joy in the game, the team and the time on the practice and gameday fields.

Thanks, Coach!

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