It was inevitable that we sign up Child Harbat for soccer. She needed to get out of the house and exercise and I like the excuse to go to the park on Saturday morning and make fun of other parents. I mean, come ON, there are some real nutjobs out there. Imagine this: you’ve got a dozen four- and five-year olds on a Saturday morning at the park. They don’t have soccer experience and this may be their first organized sport. Here is a brief synopsis of what to expect from the kids:
- A little girl wanders over, stops, and picks up a dandelion. She forgets to run back to the group during an exercise.
- A boy kicks his ball into a gully, runs past the tree, and stands with his hands on his hips.
- Another girl doesn’t run at all and sits on her soccer ball and doesn’t participate.
- When the coach asks, in an enthusiastic voice, “What TIME IS IT?!” one boy responds, “Seven o’clock?”
- A little girl says that her soccer ball smells like peppermint.
- During a scrimmage, the children pile on top of the ball and try to hold it against their chest. Someone gets kicked.
- Water breaks occur every fifteen seconds.
- One girl says she is going to be as fast as a jack o’ lantern with a jetpack.
It’s gripping sport, isn’t it? Now let’s add in an over-engaged parent, standing in the field three feet away from his kid:
“Brandon, go kick the ball. Brandon. Brandon. Kick the ball. That’s it. Your coach said to kick into the goal. Brandon. Kick into the goal. Brandon. BRANDON! Brandon. That’s it. Kick the ball. Kick the ball. The ball. THAT BALL. Brandon. YEEEEEEAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHH!!!! GOOD JOB!!!! WHOOOOOOOOOO!!! Now kick it back. C’mon Brandon. Brandon. BRANDON! BRANDON!”
I did hear one father tell his son that if he didn’t play soccer he would be shut in his room all day. Yay, parenting award! For my part I let the coach do the coaching. At times CH wouldn’t go after the ball, and mostly hung on the goal and kicked sullenly at the grass. Halfway through she wanted to go home. Then she was fine and got to meet a new best friend and play on the playground after soccer. Sometimes our goals don’t align with our kids’ goals. And that’s okay. Now go kick that ball, Brandon. BRANDON!!!!