Several moons ago I coached Ace’s soccer team. I played soccer my entire life and even enjoyed a soccer scholarship in college, so it was my hope that Ace would enjoy playing it as much as I did.
This was a not an uncommon scene during those precious father/daughter soccer moments.
I have no idea why she and I butted heads, but we did, a LOT. She didn’t want to listen and I’m sure I had a much shorter fuse back then.
This picture was when Ace was four or five years old. She’s ten now and still plays soccer, but I no longer coach her team since we moved to a new area and coaches were already in place.
She doesn’t play because her daddy is trying to live vicariously through her soccer success by any stretch of the imagination. Quite the opposite, she is asked each year whether or not she’s interested in playing and we give her every opportunity to quit and do something else instead. She chooses to play because she likes the girls on the team and has fun. That’s the point of sports at her level of competition, so we’re fine with signing her up and forking over the $100 it costs for her to have fun being part of a team.
As with Ace, I have no plans to force sports upon my boys either. Would I like for them to be interested in sports and even excel? Yes, I don’t have any qualms about admitting that. I’d love to rush home from work someday to watch one of my kids playing for the varsity team in a sport of their choosing. But, I won’t lose any sleep over it if Cool or G$ tell me to pound sand when I ask if they’re interested in signing up for soccer or baseball or whatever.
So far, Cool has been interested in playing anything that involves a ball.
Those who’ve followed this blog for awhile know that Cool is the runt of my little litter. He’s just recently made his way up to the 19th percentile in height as a four year old. In spite of his small stature and ginormous brain, he has always been pretty adept when it comes to sports. He can hit a ball tossed to him very well for a lad his age and he’s got some pretty decent soccer skills as well. Not bad for a kid who didn’t walk until he was 20 months old.
As was the case during T-ball, there were not a slew of parents begging and pleading to coach the pre-Kindergarten soccer team, so this old softy volunteered when it became clear that others were not going to step up and do it.
I’m a little better prepared this time around as I have lessons learned from coaching Ace’s team as well as my recent stint as Cool’s T-ball coach. I had such high hopes and grand plans for how that season would play out, but then the reality of getting four year old boys took over and all those plans were swept aside. Boys like to roll around in dirt and play grab ass with each other. It was insanity trying to get them to pay attention for even brief stints of time.
Try as I did to make if fun, T-ball is boring at times to the little ones because there is a lot of standing around. Soccer can be different. I’m hoping to make drills seem more like games and keep the kids interested for most of the hour long practice sessions. I’m also hoping that having girls on the team as well as boys brings some level of decorum to the squad. Girls seem to be a bit less savage and more able to listen than four year old boys. I don’t know what age they lose that ability, but it’s later on in their little lives.
So I’ve dusted off my cleats and read up on my coaching little ones 101 book in the hopes that crying is at a minimum this season, unlike it was all those years ago…