So something you will learn about me very shortly is is that I am extremely candid. Though I try to be sensitive around many topics, today’s topic is my thoughts on children’s soccer and what I have learned during my first game for 5 to 8 year-olds.
Today was a big day!
I went to go see one of my goddaughter’s soccer games today. Remy is six now and I can’t believe how fast she has grown. And if you are doing the math, I took on this responsibility shortly before my 16th birthday and I wouldn’t have it any other way.
As you will soon learn, I am not a big fan of kids. I love my goddaughter and her brother and they are the two children I pour all my affection into. 🙂 But seriously. As of now, Remy is good enough for me. I won’t bash on anyone for having kids, but I will let you know now that kids aren’t my thing.
I drove out to this big school in the northeast corner of Connecticut. Anyone who lives in Connecticut knows that quarter of the state to be the “quiet corner”. The people start getting sparser and the farmland starts to sprawl out. It’s a nice part of the state if you want quiet, obviously. It doesn’t get the name quiet corner for nothing!
When I get there, there are so many kids all under the age of eight. Remy jumped right to the playground and her brother was soon to follow. I wish I had gotten pictures of them but I was having too much fun just watching them.
So there’s a bunch of kids running around, and then I look at the adult population and it is all soccer moms and dads. I couldn’t believe it for a second.
I have to be the only single with no child adult here! Every mom there was a soccer mom. I just thought this was very odd for some reason. I was never into sports as a kid so I wasn’t around that sort of environment. My sister was in the band so my parents were band parents and that was crazy in it of itself. I couldn’t imagine doing that sort of thing.
We get to the game, and they’re doing their warm up kicks. So many young kids!
Finally, after 40 minutes of waiting for the other team to get off the field, we get to the game. Remy is on defense and she did a fantastic job! She even was able to deflect a few balls from going into the net.
I can see where soccer moms and dads get mad though, because they see their child doing everything they can and their team is still losing. Her teammates were standing next to her and trying to talk to her instead of being spread out. And believe me you, this frustrated me to no end! I wanted to call a time out and pick up these girls and place them five feet away from Remy.
Remy being silly 🙂
I was so sad when the third goal got kicked into her goal and she turned around to look at us, practically on the verge of tears.
“You’re doing great!” her father and I shouted, giving her thumbs up. She smiled back at us.
As the quarters waned on, so did the children’s patience. I heard one child say, “is soccer over yet?” Another girl was laying in the grass… on the field… in the middle of the game! I couldn’t believe it. Thankfully, another girl got to play in her stead.
Remy’s team didn’t win, but she was totally okay with it. After the game, I gave her a big hug, told her how proud I was of her and how she did an awesome job and meant it with all of my heart.
So, a couple takeaways from this extremely foreign experience:
Patience is key.
I guess that goes with anything kids, but that was especially prevalent today.
From having to wait for the other people to get off the field to the girls on the field playing with the grass in the middle of the game, I had to take a couple of deep breaths and take a step back.
Waiting for the ball
Sometimes patience isn’t enough.
There was one moment where I heard Remy cheering on her team, and another girl on her team told her to shut up. Her father got up and told Remy that when you are on the sidelines, you should be cheering your team on and not just sitting there like a bump on a log. That girl was not fond of hearing that and decided to get in the game. I was waiting to see if she would stand up to this girl, but Remy is a gentle soul like I was at her age. Sometimes, it’s about knowing when to be proactive about the situations around you.
There are a lot of soccer parents.
Both moms and dads can be supporters for their children and the idea of just a “soccer mom” is sort of dated, I know. What I saw today was there are either so many parents that are willing to help their child pursue their passions or force their child into doing a sport. I saw only one side or the other today.
Failures often lead to learning experiences.
Today the opposing team had their defense all spread out while Remy’s team’s defense was all clumped together. This will probably be talked to the team about for future matches so that the girls to have success in future games.
This idea is one that doesn’t sink in so well for me personally. It’s hard for me to consider that there will be times that I will misstep in this blog and make a mistake, but I have to take these as learning experiences and grow from it. No one likes to fail, but sometimes we need failures in order to be better people.
Out of bounds!
At the end of the day, it’s just a game.
This takeaway is closely tied with the first. As much as I want my goddaughter to win, I also know that it’s not going to kill her if she doesn’t. She will learn from it, grow from it. I got to give her that big hug and tell her how proud of her I was today. Remy played her heart out and I was there to see it. Soon after the game, Remy ran around as if it wasn’t a concern in her mind. And seeing her happy is all I care about.
Remy, defender of the goal!
What advice would you give to noobs like me when it comes to children’s soccer games? Is there something that you do to keep yourself from exploding during a match? Let me know in the comments below, I’d love to hear from you!
An after-game selfie 🙂