Soccer and four-year-olds

Little Man started playing organized soccer three weeks ago.  It’s more of a soccer “camp” in that it only lasts 8 weeks and he’s learning more skills and playing less games but it’s an outlet for his energy.  But I have to tell you, I have learned something about myself watching him play.  But let me back up ~ I’m getting ahead of myself.

He’s playing at an indoor soccer place.  There’s also another indoor field and a regulation size ice rink in the same building.  Monkey is taking ice skating lessons at the same time Little Man plays soccer so I’m pretty busy going back and forth.  The thing about indoor soccer fields is that they are surrounded by a wall of plexiglass to keep the balls on the field and presumably the watchers safe.  I’m beginning to think it’s to keep those overbearing soccer moms and dads at bay, but that’s just me.

The first week, Little Man’s hands contacted the ball more than his feet did (and he wasn’t playing goalie).  He did learn towards the end of the hour to keep his hands off the ball.

Last week, Little Man made soccer a full contact sport.  I think he spent more time tackling the other boys (he left the girls alone) and wrestling them to the ground than he did chasing the ball.  But at least his hands weren’t touching the ball.

Last night wasn’t quite so full contact and there was definite improvement on his game play.  But there were a couple of times when he just stood there, or went off on his own following that drummer with a different beat.  This is where I come in and why I think there is plexiglass between the parents and the kids.  As loud as I may yell, he doesn’t hear me.  As much as I may walk up and down the side of the field, he doesn’t really see me.  As much as I want to interject myself into his game, I’m forced to leave it up to the coaches to correct him and have faith that my little stubborn four-year-old will listen.

Maybe it’s a good thing they aren’t playing on an outdoor grassy field.  I think I’d be one of those parents that gets ejected from the game.


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