Soccer is officially in full swing in our household. Taryn has decided to sit this season out, but all three boys are playing. The little guys are playing coed, indoor soccer with one or two games a week. John is in tryouts for the high school soccer team. That means daily, 3-hour-long practices, and that’s just trying out.
For me it means a lot of driving. And sitting. And clapping. And spending money. I wrote the Parent’s Guide To Soccer a couple of years ago. That was before the twinkies started playing, I had almost forgotten how much fun it was for little kids to play soccer. Lots of running, no scorekeeping, everybody wins. Except, they’re smarter than that. They might not know how many goals were scored, but they know which team scored more. Since they know they’ve lost a few games, getting them out the door becomes a struggle. Not a freaking out, kicking, and screaming struggle but an arguing about shoes and whining about being suddenly tired struggle. If I didn’t feel so strongly about the importance of sports for kids, I’d have given up weeks ago.
The newest dimension for me indoor soccer. While John gets to play at an actual indoor soccer field with turf, the little boys play in a gym. The “field” is a basketball court with goals at both ends and bumpers to create the field. Sometimes the kids get tired and just sit down on them. They spend about a quarter of each 20-minute-half hopelessly stuck in a corner, kicking at nothing.
Even though there is no official score kept, there is someone playing goalie. I don’t think there was a goalie when Taryn and John played at this age. For a soccer mom like me there is no worse feeling than seeing your kid get put in the goal. I know that if the game goes down in flames he’ll blame himself. No amount of discussion about the rest of the defense can quell that feeling of inadequacy. No matter how hard they try, sometimes their little hands just can’t stop the ball from going in the net.
Especially if you’re Jackson…