Soccer has started. I hadn't yet written about the first day, because I was waiting to see how it would go. We've had 2 games now, and I'm pretty confident in saying there's room for a little improvment
Months ago, there was a sign-up sheet for the youth recreational league soccer sitting there all invity looking mext to the day care sign in paper. So I grabbed one. Ally was absolutely sure she was a great soccer player. It was all those times she sat potato-like on the couch watching Dora play. The sad truth of the matter is that Ally had never once played soccer. She'd never even seen a real game. And, I have a sneaking suspiscion that she's going to be just as coordinated as I was at her age. (Which, of course, I don't remember, and have just extrapolated based on how coordinated I wasn't in junior high). But, Ally has absoluelty no drive to win. She has no competitive spirit. For the last 5 years, we've been teaching her to share, and take turns. Sports are foreign to her. I'm not saying she shares all the time, but she certainly expects others to. I already worry about her being a little too fragile, so I wa thinking that maybe getting her into a sports program would help her learn to toughen upjust a little. And it always sucks when you try to join sports and everyone else has already been playing for 5 years, and you're a newbie. I didn't want to miss the boat. So I was all for it.
Rob was not. He played soccer as a kid and loved it. He thinks that Ally is too fragile for it, and not having that competitivce edge is going to sour her on the sports experience as a whole. He thinks she's too young. But, he's willing to go along with it since I felt differently. So I signed her up and crossed my fingers.
Last Tuesday was our first game. The first time Ally had ever played on a soccer team. They have practice for half hour before the game, but the league was horribly disorganized, so there was barely time for any of that. Ally had been warned repeatedly that this was not a "taking turns" kind of game, and that if you wanted to kick the ball, you have to run for it. And she didn't. She walked around the field nowhere near the ball. She picked grass so that we could "use them for points" - whatever that means. She got to play goalie once, and actually did a pretty good job, but there's no team feeling there. I don't want her to be goalie all the time (which isn't a worry, because they switch around very often at this age). she refused to run. She cried because she didn't get a chance to kick the ball. But honestly? She did better than I had expected. She stayed on the field. She stayed pretty interested. And when we left, she cried because she wasn't good at it. And my heart broke into a million little pieces. So we celebrated her trying. We explained the rules again, and told her she'd get her chance if she ran faster. And I hoped so hard that I hadn't hurt her by pushing her before she was ready.
And then Thursday's game was rained out. So we had to wait until last night to see what impact the first game had on her. Would she start the game sad from the memory of the first game? Would she get over it and try harder? Would she miss the point again? Was Rob right, and I should have waited longer?
Well, we had no confusion, so she got a full 30 minutes of practice. They got their t-shirts in, so she could tell who was on her team. And her coach really did well to encourage her. She had a positive attitude, and ran a lot more. She knew what to expect, and was a little less lost. Did she kick the ball very much? not really. But she did chase it. And she was involved in the game. She stopped a goal again when it was her turn to be goalie. But, apparently, she is going to take after her father. It's a good thing they don't call fouls on 4 year olds.
And, of course, Anya had to get in on the action a little too. When Ally got her team shirt, Anya insisted on having a soccer shirt too. So I put Ally's old one on her and she ran around kicking like crazy. For some reason, I don't think we'll have as many worries when it comes time for her to play.