Welcome to the latest installment of a weekly contribution to the site by my husband, Thomas: Chasing Rabbits. In case you missed the first one, why Chasing Rabbits? My husband will be the first to admit that his thought process can be a bit…er…random. He starts in one spot, chases after some rabbits, sometimes all the way down the rabbit hole and back, but it
mostly usually always ends in a great place. But don’t take my word for it…
Soccer has started in our household.
I was not raised around soccer. It is a strange and foreign concept to me. We played football. Good ol’ American football. Not some kind of pansy football where you kick the ball around to each other. We used our hands, smacked some guys around, ran the scoreboard up into some high digits and only kicked the ball when we absolutely had to. This is the football I was raised on.
As I get older, I am able to reflect on what I know and realize soccer is not necessarily a pansy sport. True, I have never played a day of soccer in my life, but I am able to see the endurance and skill required to play the game. I am trying my best to learn how the sport is played so I can pass this knowledge on to my daughters, the oldest of which will begin playing soccer shortly. Luckily, I have a wife who used to be a youth soccer coach and referee.
I assembled my first soccer goal a couple days ago. It was a 4×6 PVC goal with a bright orange net. The instructions (if you can call them that) consisted of a picture of the goal that said to assemble the included pieces. Really? That’s a great idea! Now can you actually show me how? Nope. I guess they assume everybody knows what a soccer goal looks like. Hahahahahahaha.
After half an hour of flipping pieces around, I finally had the frame constructed. Once that was finished, it was only a matter of securing the net. Eventually I was able to figure out what the net was supposed to look like and attached it while fighting back curious children. I am sure my wife was having a pretty good time watching. She was probably thinking to herself, “This dumbass really doesn’t know what a soccer goal looks like.”
Three first-time soccer guy lessons
The first lesson I learned is that size 1 balls are not meant to play actual soccer. They go straight through the net holes. Yup. Just because your wee-one is starting out in the sport does not mean they need the smallest ball available. These size 1 balls look like something used by soccer fans to introduce their babies to the sport while they are still unable to play. Luckily we had purchased a size 3 ball at the sporting goods store when we got the net.
The second lesson I learned is to establish boundaries on where your child can and cannot wear their cleats. They were fun to wear around the store on the carpet, but once she left the shoe section, the slick tile floor became one gigantic obstacle. They were fun to wear outside, but were quickly hidden once we came in the house. There is no way I am letting her wear a weapon on her feet around the house. She is already dangerous enough!
The third lesson I learned is that amateur soccer coaches should not kick the ball towards the kids when they are not looking. I did. I got my foot under the ball like I had been instructed and let the ball soar. Not even ten feet away my daughter’s head was waiting for the ball. The force of the ball swept her off her feet and quickly ended our first attempt at soccer practice.
Even though I am not a fan of soccer, I will always be there cheering, shouting the lingo, practicing and encouraging our daughters as they play. Maybe one day I will realize I have come to enjoy the game.
Yes, it was funny watching him put the soccer goal together. Watching the girls try to mess with his progress? Funnier. Have you entered the world of kids sports yet? Tell us about your adventures in the comments so maybe we can get a list of lessons together sooner than later!