I wrote the following little piece back in ’04 when I was roped into coaching my Grandson’s soccer team. I love sports and am entirely too competitive. I think it stems from hanging out with my 5 older brothers. In school I played softball and basketball and ran track and cross country.
As a parent coach, I should have been hogged tied until the season was over. If you need examples of how hard I pushed my L’il Trooper, you will need to ask him directly. I doubt that any Drill Sgt whom he came in contact with came close to my madness. (I admit it… I was insane)
Don’t even bring up the 400 yard dash to my son. The sheer trauma I inflicted on my L’il Trooper… I know I can never say it enough… But, I am sorry! When you get home you can insist I run laps over and over again until you are happy with my time.
On the plus side; my craziness may have helped to prepared you for the military. Boot camp must have been a picnic. It is no wonder that you were not upset when asked to do extra pushups. (Again, my fault for sending all the brownies)
But, it was all out of LOVE…. Crazy demented LOVE!
I would like to say the crazy is gone but it is still there. I have just learned to leash it somewhat. Now on to my little youth soccer piece:
We follow the entire Olympics closely. I swear I hear the theme music in my sleep. It seems the majority of the athletes interviewed state that they began playing or training for their particular sport at a very young age. OH, HOW I WISH THEY WOULD NOT TELL THE VIEWERS THIS!!!!!!!
Now, you have parents around the country enrolling their little darlings in everything from gymnastics and soccer to track and swimming. This is great for all the youth athletic clubs, but so very rough on the child… 4 yr olds should not be required to perform. Let me explain my viewpoint… I call it:
Why Four Year Olds Should Not Play Soccer!
Just for fun, perhaps a momentary lapse in sanity, I decided to coach beginning soccer at the local YMCA. I was given a wonderful group of 4 & 5 year olds!
This is a summary of our first practice. (I had therapy afterwards… lol)
1.) One child was running around the field with his shirt pulled over his head… laughing as he bumped into other kids.
2.) One child was crawling on his hands and knees looking for bugs.
3.) One child was holding onto his Mom’s leg, refusing to join us on the field.
4.) One child was putting a pylon cone on his head (covering his eyes) wandering off the field.
5.) One child kept heading to the stands to see if his older brother has made it to the next level on the Gameboy.
6.) One child was chasing the others around the field, trying to kiss them.
7.) One child was standing in the middle of the field picking his nose.
8.) One child kept picking up the ball and sticking it in his shirt.
9.) I think one child may have fallen in the Port-a-potty.
10.) One child insisted I hold him throughout the entire practice.
I had four weeks before the first game and they did not even know the basics. “Out of Bounds” is a foreign term. They all want to be Goalie. And the best part of playing is the “Treats” at the end of the game!
Is this how a Drill SGT. Feels when a new group of enlistees enter Boot Camp? Just kidding guys!
We should let you know our “Little Troopers” did get the hang of it before the first game. In fact, we never lost a game. (although we were not “supposed” to keep score)
We are very competitive at our house, we do not know what “half-speed” means, and have no idea how to teach the concept. We were asked on many occasions to slow our little guys down (it won’t happen) and let the other teams score too. How do you teach a child to give it all they have and then tell them not to play so well?
Who knows, perhaps in the 2020 Olympics one of our “little troopers” will step off the awards podium and say “I started playing soccer when I was 4!”
Ok, I have changed my mind… Four year olds can play soccer! Who is bringing the snacks?
Now I need to go run a few laps, as I am sure my L’il trooper will hold me to it when he gets home.