Thursday, September 22, 2011

The confusing world of soccer

Alright, I'm going to say from the get-go that I am NOT an expert at this subject.  Nor do I represent the majority of people with these opinions.  However, these are things I'm learning quickly in the world of soccer.

I'm sure some of these observations can be applied to any sport, but we only play soccer (so far) in our family.  Please know that I'm working on year four in the soccer world, so these aren't necessarily observations from this year alone.  Sports in general are great and I'm all for them, however sometimes it does get a tad bit on the ridiculous side.  Knowing me as well as some who read this may, I'm making a list.  For those who may be new to our blog, I like lists....ha!

  • Soccer is fun!  First and foremost, soccer is "supposed" to be fun.

  • Soccer parents are nuts!  I may or may not be included in this observation.

  • Watching 4 & 5 year olds run after a soccer ball cracks me up!  The run in little bunches and just kick each other more than the ball.  It doesn't really matter if they score a goal, it matters that they are having fun!

  • The older the child is, the more competitive the parents become.

  • SAY soccer is one thing, Select is something entirely different and I don't necessarily mean that in a good way.

  • Sitting right on the sideline during a game is not wise.  You will get run over by the referee and said referee may fall.  For the record, this was not me but another parent who then yelled at the high school kid ref. for not paying attention to where she was running....wha?!?!?

  • Conversations are one thing, but continuing, lengthy, explicit conversations about your little ones "possible sharts, explosive poops, etc" are not exactly great material to chat about when the person right next to you is eating a hot dog with chili on it.  Just sayin'.

  • Stomping off because you "can't stand to watch" your child play in candy league makes you look kind of silly.  Candy league is about learning and the kids will do silly things.  Enjoy it and store the memories.  In a few years you just may wish your child is distracted by a low flying airplane.  There's an innocence there, don't ruin it.

  • Having a terrific coach can make the difference between your child enjoying the year or not.

  • When dealing with a girls team, having a big heart and the ability to relate to girls helps!

  • Parents that jump on the coach because their child also plays Select and isn't getting enough playing time on offense really should check themselves.  Is it still about your child or is it about you?

  • Along those same lines, threatening to pull your child from games and practices because of the lack of playing time is really, truly childish and kind of sad all at the same time.

  • While I'm all for cheering on my children's team, I always try to remember they are a team.  Yelling at your child to get the ball and run it to the goal when other players have the ball is crazy.  Yes, your child may be good, but taking the ball from a teammate is not the what the word team means.

  • Soccer is not football.  Tackling is not cute and can hurt.  Lesson learned a few seasons ago when a child broke a finger because another child wanted to play football instead of soccer and would "tackle" everyone.

  • Don't be offended if a child doesn't like the snack you brought.  Our kids will usually turn down candy or chips in favor of fresh fruit or peanut butter crackers.  It's not you, it's them and what they like.

The most important lesson I've learned.....

It doesn't matter if your child wins, loses, scores a goal or doesn't get to play at all, the fact that you are there supporting them means more than anything.  Telling them they did a good job, building their confidence in the sport, and helping them with skills they are wanting to practice will not only make them feel good about their skills/sport, but will build memories as well.

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