“The rules of soccer are very simple, basically it is this: if it moves, kick it. If it doesn’t move, kick it until it does.” – Phil Woosman
Today it was official; I am a soccer mom.
I am not your traditional soccer mom. Everything about me screams the opposite, however, here I am. My friends are shocked; shoot, I’m still shocked. And no, I will not be buying a gas-guzzling SUV now to cart around young kids, their gear, and sliced fruit. Funny, funny jokes everyone has. I hear it daily.
So how did it begin?
Back in May, I finally enrolled my kids in AYSO (American Youth Soccer Organization for all of you non-soccer folks-I used to be one). Two weeks ago, both my kids started soccer practice. Two weeks ago, I discovered my life has been overtaken by soccer cleats, shin guards, and size 4 soccer balls.
It began with a phone call from the coaches telling me when the practice would be. The soccer gods were against me twice. First, when I discovered my kids were on separate teams. Second, when I discovered the two coaches chose opposite practice days. What does that mean? That means, because they both have two practices a week, that I am now carting them to the soccer field four days a week! What! Nobody told me that when I signed up for this. I remember the days of working a full day, picking the kids up from school, cooking dinner, and relaxing. Ahhh…the good ol’ days. Now I squeeze a practice in there everyday of the week, thus testing my fortitude and forcing me to up my “busy-mom” game.
My saving grace is my books. I adore books and now am allowed an extra reading hour daily, outside at a beautiful park with beautiful weather… there is my silver lining. Phew. I don’t sit with all the other soccer moms and talk about my kids though; I bet they judge me. Hee hee, naw, they all seem nice enough.
So, here we are, two weeks of practice and our first day of games was today. We packed up the car, drove to the field, and waited in the oppressive sun for their games to start. While waiting, I amused myself watching the younger kids play. The best way to describe little kids in soccer is:
Finally, a half hour later, my son starts his game. After he finished trying to fix his shorts because the Youth Medium size was still to big for his very skinny body, he started to get the hang of playing defense. When he got subbed out he asked me if he was on penalty! “Aww…no just a breather bud.” At this age, they implement real technique like the big kids. An hour later, his U10 team finished the game at 7-1. They played quite good thanks to some outstanding little players that have obviously been in this sport for a while.
Next, my daughter’s team starts. (**Note-I am lucky they played at the same field today at different times. Upon reading the game schedules, suffice to say I will not be so lucky most weeks. Between now and then, I will need to discover the secret to cloning so I am able to be in two places at once. Wish me luck** ) There is a big difference to be noticed between the U10 girls team and the U10 boys team. The first being that the girls uniforms are pastels. The second being that the girls are far less aggressive. Being a rookie, my daughter was placed in defense. After watching her stand still, with her arms straight down, with no attempt to run towards the ball or protect her goalie, I did a little sideline coaching (ugh… I cannot believe I have become one of those!). She gets the picture, gets in the game, and ultimately starts to play. Finally, game over, they won too, 5-3.
Things I learned:
- Bring a hat- because sitting in the hot sun all day makes you…um…hot.
- Eat breakfast first -I was starving by the time it was all over.
- Bring a cooler and sliced fruit. (Now I know why they say this, all the other kids had it)
- Bring a folding chair – Youth soccer does not have bleachers.
- Soccer parents are LOUD!
First successful day of games under my belt.