Having only one child (for the time being), there was a point in time where my wife and I shared some mild concern over our daughter socializing. When life threw us a curve ball and we had to pull her out of daycare, she spent an awful lot of time playing with us as well as older friends and family.
With hopes of getting her around kids her own age, my wife signed her up for dance class. She liked talking and playing with the other girls before class but, as it turned out, she did not like the dance portion. Not even a little bit…
Things all changed the following year when our daughter started pre-school. For a couple of hours, two days each week, she got to spend time with kids her own age. She really enjoyed it. In fact, the excitement of learning transferred right into kindergarten the following year.
Along the way we’ve been encouraging her to try various after school type programs. At an early age she showed an interest in the church cherub choir and has been going regularly for the past couple of years. When she expressed an interest in art, my wife signed her up for art classes.
Art class went very well but we were relieved when she said that she wanted to give soccer a try (art class was getting to be kind of expensive paying by the lesson). In the Fall Season of 2015 our daughter trotted out onto the field of her very first soccer practice.
Watcher our child play was interesting…
Unlike at home, she was very timid on the field. She didn’t like playing offense because it meant being aggressive with the ball. She preferred to play defense and hang back, waiting for the ball to come to her.
As time went on she slowly changed. She still preferred defense but she was getting aggressive – chasing down players and blocking shots. It was a beautiful thing to watch unfold throughout the season.
After each practice I would ask her the same question. Did you have fun? Each and every time the answer was yes. Some days were more enthusiastic than others but she always seemed to come away excited about what she had done.
The season ended strong with our daughter scoring her very first goal. Suddenly she loved playing offense and became a little monster on the field. Any place the ball was, she was there too. Racing from one end of the field to the other, stealing the ball and driving towards the goal. She wound up scoring one goal that game and almost scoring two more (one went just wide of the net and the other she tripped and fell down with no defenders in front of her).
The Spring 2016 Season is in full swing. She has starting off slow – timid at first but slowly working towards being more aggressive on the field. The coach has me a little worried due to lack of experience but perhaps I’m expecting too much from an intramural soccer program.
Spring Soccer is a long way from being over and she is already talking about playing in the Fall. Come Fall, things will be changing. She goes from U6 to U7 which means a larger field, more playing time, and more to learn about the game. I’m confident she’ll enjoy herself and I’m looking forward to watching her grow and be active.