Yep. I forgot to blog about soccer.
I KNOW, RIGHT?
How could I possibly forget to post pictures and talk about Nathan’s soccer debut, when I’ve covered Sarah Kate’s swim team and softball exploits ad nauseum? But forget I apparently did, because the only things I can find on the blog about soccer are the photo above on a Sun-Beams post and two snippets – one about signing him up and the other about him getting into fire ants just before the first session (that I missed).
I know. For shame.
I could blame it on Minnesota, and runDisney, and surgery (actually two of them – mine AND Sarah Kate’s), but a teeny little part of me wonders if the real reason might be because it was such a traumatic experience that I preferred to let it pass without comment. I don’t think that’s it, though, because I’ve blogged about softball and swimming for years, despite my love-hate relationship with both (we can file this one under “OUR Love-Hate Relationship With Soccer” because I believe Mr. Andi and I both hate soccer in equal measure). 🙂
TOTS Soccer started out fine.
The coach is great, and it’s all about prepping them to play on a real team in a real game … sometime in the future. The sessions are an hour long, and the first half of each session is parent-child drills. Every kid brings his own ball and practices the different skills (dribbling, dragback, and so forth) with his parent’s help and supervision.
In the beginning, I was encouraged by what I saw.
There was dribbling.
There was enthusiasm for dribbling.
There were kicks into a goal.
There was enthusiastic dribbling combined with kicks through practice gates and into goals.
There was even some super-cute and cooperative posing for photos…
All was well … and then the “games” started.
“Game” is a generous word for what they did. The kids were divided into groups by shirt color, with no concern for how lopsided the “teams” were (though they did split up the huge group wearing the most popular color, which wasn’t lime green … but I digress). It didn’t much matter, because the “games” were pretty much just a bunch of kids running around trying to kick the ball into the goal, and no one kept score.
For that matter, no one kept up with where the boundaries were, either. And sometimes defensive players made scores against their own teams. But, hey … it’s all about the fundamentals, right?
Despite the loose rules, nonexistent boundaries, and opportunities to run around like a hyperactive schnoodle on crack without the possiblity of restraint (one of his fave pastimes), Nathan wanted absolutely nothing to do with playing soccer. I don’t know if he was intimidated by the other kids (most of whom were a good bit taller – he was the youngest and smallest on the field), didn’t want to share a ball, or just flat didn’t like it.
Regardless, He. Would. Not. Play.
He wouldn’t chase the ball. He wouldn’t kick the ball. He wouldn’t even stand in the general area of where the other kids were playing with the ball. He only wanted to be picked up. We finally convinced him to “go play with Piper” (the little girl in the pink bow and pink shorts – she’s in his preschool class), which he sorta-kinda did, allowing me to snap this solitary photo that makes it appear he’s participating in the game.
Of course, right after I snapped it, the crowd of kids turned back toward the goal and Nathan kept on going straight ahead to that pavilion in the background.
We do know that he was listening to (and understood) the coach’s instructions, however, because when halftime arrived and a water break was declared, he was ON IT. You’d think he’d been traipsing through the Sahara for days, rather than standing on the sidelines while everyone else ran and kicked.
Eventually, we parked him in front of his team’s goal (Hey, Daddy played goalkeeper back in high school!) and pretended he was doing something constructive. That charade was unmasked the first time the pack of soccer tots headed his way and he moved to the side to allow the score.