I gleaned this post from Facebook. My and Cara's mutual friend Merrie Napolitano (nee Reilly) posted a note about her son's first day with soccer. It was too good not to share with Blogger.
And since NO ONE has taken us up on our offer to co-blog with us co-bloggers, I'll keep stealing notes from Facebook until you all contribute.
Well, I experienced Kiddie Soccer yesterday afternoon. I was dreading going, being someone who has played soccer for half of her live at a very competitive level. I even brought something to distract me from the horror of Bumblebee Soccer (I really didn't think I could handle it). I also had no idea how Tristan would react to playing with other children, or if he would even enjoy playing a semi-structured sport.
I was so bowled away by how the BTSA runs their Kiddie Soccer, and how excited Tristan was to play that I never touched my diversion. I found his cleats, shin guards and a ball over at Dick's for a great deal $34.99 and Tristan got to pick out his ball (he wanted the red one). Well, on the ride over, he informed Nick and I that he needed to give the ball to his coach. We told him that the coach didn't want his ball and in fact that the coach was going to give him a ball and a soccer shirt to play! But still he insisted, so we just agreed.
We got to the field early since this was actually the second game but Tristan's first (he missed the first game the week before because of his cousins' 4th birthday). I sat him in the back of the car and put on his shin guards, socks and cleats, and when he jumped down he looked up at me and smiled, "I'm ready!" I smiled; this was a good sign. "Then let's go find your coach!" I said and off we all went. Armed with the stroller for Inara, a chair, blanket, lunch (for Inara), the camera, and the Flip we trudged to find someone to tell us where to find the Tigers.
Having basically grown up on Pinewood Park fields I felt right at home, but had a rock in the pit of my stomach, completely unsure of what was to ensue once we reached the team and new coach. We were directed to the second field, and were told the Tigers were the dark blue team all the way at the end. Upon arrival at the correct field, his coach came over and introduced himself and spoke directly to Tristan (this was a major plus in my book), telling him he had the jersey (t-shirt) and a new ball for him. Tristan took to him right away, and had a smile on his face from the moment he stepped on the field until he took his nap that afternoon at about 3 o'clock.
This is where my dread returned. Was Tristan going to listen to the coach? Would he behave? Even if he did actually listen, would he follow directions? Would I be able to handle 10 3-4 year olds buzzing in a hive after a tiny size three soccer ball? You will be thrilled to know (as I was), that all of my fears were untoward and I wish the hour could have been longer.
During the 1/2 hour practice, Tristan listened like a champ and followed directions with ease. It left me wondering if there is a soccer camp that goes all year long! LOL And he showed a great skill for the sport. Plus I found that watching 3-4 year olds learn how to play soccer was therapeutic. I laughed the whole time. They were adorable learning new skills and then announcing their achievements when they could manage to do it without falling down. It made me realize that dribbling a soccer ball while running is a complicated skill that takes concentration and coordination! (Even if it comes naturally to the child they still have to think about it. After years of playing, you forget that it is not a natural movement).
Then came the 1/2 hour game. I can't remember the last time I laughed so hard. They were great! Running around after the ball and each other, they listened to the coaches shouted instructions with the skill of pros! Unfortunately they all listened to both coaches equally and weren't really sure which goal to shoot at or which way to turn and run, so there was a lot of running in circles. Two little girls on opposite teams were holding hands in the middle of the field talking. Tristan decided he needed hold up the goal post with another little girl at one point (Uncle Ryan insisted he was flirting). One little girl refused to put the ball down and pouted when it was taken away by the coach. And the best part was Tristan, who ran over to us a number of times asking for HIS soccer ball, because someone took the other one away! LMAO! Nick and I would laugh and wave him back on the field telling him he had to go get that one back, and he would smile, laugh and run back to get the game ball!
He had a blast and out of the 8 children on the team, Tristan and another little girl were the only kids on the field for almost the whole 30 minutes! The coach was encouraging and I give him tons of credit for taking on this job. He certainly earned his wings!!! Upon leaving (which Tristan did NOT want to do), he asked to go back tomorrow and he refused to take his sweaty jersey until right before nap at!
I had no idea what to expect coming in to this as a mom new to this world of Kiddie Soccer, but I was thrilled with Tristan's reaction to the sport, and my own reaction to what basically can be called organized chaos! I have to say thank you to the BTSA and their volunteer coaches for running such a great program and for making a skeptic and pessimist have to rethink her ideas of Kiddie Soccer. It was such a joy watching my son playing and loving a game that I loved as a child and adult! And thank you to those mommy's out there who gave the BTSA props when I wasn't sure it would be the right place for Tristan to play!