Tag Archives: Soccer

Do You Think Mia Hamm’s Mom Ever Had This Moment?

The Girl had her very first soccer game last night.

She ran.  A lot.  She made contact with the ball once,  maybe twice.  She sat on a blanket with her team.  She shook hands at the end of the game.

And I was proud of my baby girl.

But it had nothing to do with soccer.

Because while I can appreciate that she is learning new skills, learning how to relate to others, learning how to be part of a team, I have to admit, all things sports-related leave me feeling a little “meh”.

No, the pride was all inspired off the field.

Just before half-time, The Girl seems a little off.  She’s looking around, maybe dancing a little.  And I walk back in my mind, to when I was running around the house, trying to feed supper to two excited kids, get them into soccer gear, and remember the damn water bottles.  I remember telling her to make sure she went to the bathroom before we left.

But I don’t remember her doing it.

Uh oh.

At first, I try to convince her that she’ll be able to hold it.  She’s not buying it.

I scan the area.  All the adjacent buildings; the school, the community hall, the rink shack, all closed.  We don’t know anyone who lives within a block of the place.  And I’m not taking her all the way home.

As I try my hardest not to curse her for not being a born a boy (because damn, I really love that about raising a boy), I panic and weigh my options.

We have no other choice.

We find a relatively dense bunch of pine trees, walk between them.  And I tell her how this is going to go down.

Watch out for your soccer shorts.  And your shoes.  And try to balance.  And try not to get it on yourself.  And be quick so no one sees this.

She was unconvinced.  This kind of went against everything I had ever taught her about etiquette, bathroom or otherwise.  But she’s always up for a challenge.  And she REALLY had to go.

Copping a successful squat?  Really damn hard.

Getting it right on your first try?  Genius.

Not one drop on those shorts, not one stray trail down the leg, not one wet shoe lace.

She can score goals all damn season.  And I could not be as proud as I was last night.

Good job, kiddo.

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Thanks, That Was Fun

 

I coached soccer this spring.  For a mixed team of 5 & 6 year olds.

 

Here’s what I was afraid of, in the beginning:

-The kids would hate me.

-I would hate the kids.

-The parents would not get my sense of humor.

-The kids AND the parents would realize I was a complete klutz.

-I would fall down/trip/wipe out.

-The other coaches would catch on that I knew nothing.

-The parents would expect little David Beckhams, 

and Mia Hamms,

when the best I could hope to deliver would be The Bad News Bears (whom I realize played baseball, but you see what I’m getting at).

-I would start to dread soccer nights, praying for rain.

 

Here’s what happened, instead:

-The kids seemed to like me.  When I see them at the playground, even now, they come up to me, call me “Coach”, want to talk to me.

-At the start of every new shift, I got 3 new kids out on the field, and every one of them was grinning ear to ear, ready to go, excited.

-Very few parents actually had anything negative to say.  The comments ran more towards, “You are a good, good woman for doing this.”

-I laughed my ass off.  At the kid who scored a goal, but inadvertently hit the other team’s goalie in the package, inhaled sharply, and said, “Oooh!  Right in the hot dog!”.  Or the kid who played a whole shift peeking out from beneath his dad’s jacket, because he didn’t want to get rained on.

-I watched the most competitive kids discover the art of passing to their team mates, and give up scoring opportunities, just to keep passing.

-I realized that the definition of a good soccer season was different for every single kid.  The kid whose favorite part of the game was sitting on the team blanket?  Had as great a season as the kid who liked scoring.

 

 

The biggest reward of the season came out of my biggest insecurity, though.

 

I have no killer instinct.  No competitive drive, in matters physical.

I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to impart  sense of competition to these kids.  Because I know that competition is important. It’s how we get shit done. 

 

But it turns out that on a beautiful spring night,  when you’re 5 or 6, and your parents  are cheering, and you’re running, and grinning, and eating watermeleon, and shaking hands at the end of the game,

 

competition just isn’t the most important thing.

 

 

Oh Yes, We Have No Bananas

There’s 3 feet of snow on the ground, so it’s the perfect time to start the outdoor soccer season.

 

Well, OK, just the registration part.

 

But some people are thinking ahead.  And I applaud them.

 

Because while I’m hoping that my son is on a team with a friend or two, and trying to remember where in the flaming hell I put his shin pads at the end of last season, some people are dealing with loftier concerns.

 

“Is there going to be a green team?  Like, a team with green shirts?  Because last year, my kid was on a yellow team.  And he had to yell ‘Go, Bananas!’ all the time.  And it just about killed him.”

 

(I had to squelch the urge to ask how to get my kid onto a yellow team.  Because I would like nothing more than to sit on the sidelines yelling “Go Bananas!”, then giggling till I nearly pee.)

 

(And then bananas made me think of this.  Which has sweet bugger all to do with the post.  Enjoy!)