First Soccer Game

Kicking the ball was more fun before people started telling her what to do.

We had our first soccer practice two weeks ago. We missed the next practice and first game while we were in Boston, so this past Friday Violet headed back onto the field for her second every soccer practice.

I wasn't holding my breath. Even though she has two friends from school on the team, the first practice wasn't what I would call a smashing success. It was a million degrees outside on a Friday evening. Towards the end Violet got tripped up and walked off the field in tears. I was distracted with keeping Annie in the shade and didn't see much of what was going on. It was just... meh. I had hoped that soccer would maybe be the thing that Violet took a shine to - we've tried ballet, gymnastics, but nothing has really stuck. Well, it didn't look good for soccer either.

But practice went well! Our coach is awesome, a first grade teacher, no less! So she's great with young kids. There were only three kids there for the first 15 minutes or so, and that helped Violet get comfortable again. I had to get out there and encourage her quite a bit, but hey, no tears, so I called it a success.

"Huggies" with her school buddies Taylor and JT.

Annie wanted in on the action.
Then it was game time. Our team is the Pink Falcons (hey, the boys picked it!) and our smart coach brought pink balloons to put on the goal we were aiming into. Genius idea.But look at my shy little friend. At first she flat-out refused to go onto the field, even for warm-ups. Then she went, but insisted on keeping her fingers in her mouth (her tell-tale "I'm nervous" look). Eventually she went in, and Coach Angie held her hand on the field.

Slo-o-o-w-ly she started warming up to the idea of a game. I think so many kids on the field was intimidating. It's one thing to kick the ball around with Daddy in the backyard, it's another to fight a pack of feet and legs over the ball. But she hung in there. By the end Violet was actually running independently around the field, moving in the right direction, and I think she might have even incidentally kicked the ball. There were no tears, and she claimed she had fun.

Coach Angie even gave her the balloons from the goal at the end of the game for being the "most improved" player. So there you go. The second practice was better than the first, I'm hoping the second game is better than the first, and things just keep improving from here. Sweet girl. I remember what it was like to be shy and nervous in new situations. Hopefully she'll build up her confidence and learn to love it. The other parents at the game were so sweet. One told me how she signed her daughter up to play, and it took until the last game before she ever touched the ball. But it's all about trying, you know? And it was too cute watching the kiddos running up and down the field, scoring in the wrong goals, trying so hard not to use their hands. Looks like I'm a soccer mom, for the next few weeks at least!

JT and Violet

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