Okay…I fully admit it. I’m going to be one of the “gush about everything great with their children” type of parent blogger. Sorry…it’s just my nature, I guess.
And hey…how many times can my son play a sport for the first time? Not too often…so believe me when I say that all day yesterday was spent getting excited to watch my son play organized soccer for the first time.
And I gotta tell you…this thing was definitely organized well. There had to be around 200 kids on two separate football fields all separated into teams of 10 or so. Maybe 100 kids. I don’t know…my estimation ability isn’t the greatest. Let’s just say there was a ton of kids and a ton of proud parents watching them.
Now the first night wasn’t actual competition. No, the first night was simply practice…passing the ball, kicking it around, trying to score on a goalie. It was a really well-paced first night. What’s interesting is that tomorrow he’ll end up having his first game…where the first 30 minutes is practice and then the second 30 minutes is a game against another team.
Alright…now I’ll try to be unbiased with my impression of his soccer ability…
I think the kid’s a natural. I know, I know…I sound like a typical parent. But here’s the thing: he’s small. In fact, he’s the tiniest one on the entire team (as you can see from the picture to the right…he’s #4). He makes up for his lack of height with speed and feet skills. Seriously…I shit you not. He was kicking like a pro…he was passing like a pro…he didn’t want to just haul off and kick the ball every single time; he wanted to play a finesse game.
Okay…I know that sounds ridiculous for a first practice. But I got to play a little “passing game” with him (I thought it was neat that the parents got to be involved) and I really was impressed with how he kicked the ball not with the point of his shoe, but with the side. He listened to the instructors and wasn’t just trying to kick the ball as hard as he could (have I mentioned that part already?). I was so impressed that I actually took pictures of the kid (an example of one is on the left) while passing the ball back and forth with him. I just couldn’t have been having more fun if I had tried.
And fast? Let me tell you…I walked him to a port-a-potty that was on the other side of the field. When he was finished, I said let’s run back so that he wouldn’t miss anything else. I thought that I could just do a brisk walk next to him and that would be fine. I mean…his tiny little legs take two steps to my one, right?
Well didn’t the little bugger start pulling away from me?? I had to break a sprint just to catch up to the kid!
And okay…he may need to brush-up on his break-away scoring ability, but I’m sure that will come with time…
I dunno…I was watching the other kids and trying to compare their skill level with Ankle Biter’s. One kid didn’t want to be there at all…at one point lying on the ground to stare at the clouds. Her dad kept trying to get her up to play with everybody else, but she didn’t want any of it. Another kid was the whiner…crying at the drop of a hat and pouting because he didn’t get his own way every single time. Another looked to be a bit of a bully…really wanting to do whatever he wanted to do.
But I really thought Ankle Biter’s skills were above average in comparison. Mind you, he hasn’t played a game yet and he’s only four…so maybe he’s not quite Pelé or Beckham at this stage in his athletic career.
I couldn’t have been any prouder, though. My cheeks hurt as I drove home because of all the smiling that I did.
It was a great night to be a dad.