Soccer, Take Two

Back on the ball.

It's soccer season again! And wow, what a different having some experience makes. When we first started soccer, Violet was nervous to go onto the field by herself. Often Matt or I would have to join her in the practice to get her to participate. This time, even though it's a new team and new coach, she ran right out there. Of course, it helps that half the team is made up of kids from her class (yeah, we really worked the system on that one!) But even so, I think her comfort level is definitely helping.

I was relieved to see Violet has such a great first practice, because things were a little dicey when teams were announced. When we signed up for our second season, I listed the names of some of her friends she wanted to be with, and also the name of last season's coach, whom we loved and had a great experience with. So I was thrilled when she called to say we were on her team again. But I quickly grew concerned when none of the parents from school had gotten a similar call. And then I grew extra nervous when I realized it was because Coach Angie was now coaching a U7 team.

Age-wise, U7 is appropriate for my five-year-old. But skill-wise? Maturity-wise? I wasn't so sure. U7 has positions. Goalies. They keep score. My child... well, have I mentioned that Violet's favorite part of soccer is snack time? In fact, the only question she asked when I had her decide if she wanted to play again was, "Will there be a party with cupcakes at the end?" So yeah, we've got different priorities.

Violet is one of the oldest in her class, so when all the requests for Coach Angie came in, we made the cut and everyone else stayed in U5 (no score-keeping, more "run around and have fun" attitude). I immediately started expressing my reservations to Angie, who to her credit did a great job calming my fears and promising the best snacks at halftime, just for Violet. Have I mentioned how much I like Coach Angie? I agonized over it. Should we try to switch? Should we stick it out? Would a hard season ruin the sport for Violet forever? Could it all be okay like Angie said? We decided to go for it. I talked to Violet and explained why her friends weren't going to be on her team, we picked out snacks, bought new soccer gear, got ready to go.

Huddling up with Coach Jeremy.

Then out of the blue, I got a call from a "Coach Jeremy". I didn't know any Coach Jeremy, but he'd gotten our name from one of Violet's classmates. He was going to be coaching all her friends on the U5 team and as fate would have it, he had one extra slot open on his team. He'd heard we might be interested in switching to U5 and he was prepared to write her name in on the spot. Did I want in?

Talk about being put on the spot. But it felt God-given. I hadn't asked the other mom to pass along our name and number. I hadn't run to the league demanding to be switched back to U5. It really felt dropped in our laps. So I took it. I felt awful when I emailed Coach Angie to tell her. But Coach Jeremy seems great, Violet was so excited to see her four friends from school, and somehow I got roped into being Team Mom despite my best feet-dragging. Hopefully it all adds up to the start of a really great season!

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