The Princess started soccer this week.
We’ve been building up to this for a while; little black cleats with pink accents, black socks/shinguards to match the black cleats, and some Dude/Princess practice time.
Our practice time focused mainly on kicking, passing, and stopping the ball. Some good basics, but our practice wasn’t very consistent or intense. Lots of lolly-gagging and goofing around.
The Princess did get a hang of the basics. She can pass the ball and stop it pretty well. But after witnessing the first official practice, I realize some additional basics would be helpful.
Soccer was the Dude’s jam back in the day. I played from age 5 – 20, including a couple years in college. So, needless to say, my hopes may have been set a bit high.
I played a lot; rec, travel, club, college. But I’ve never coached. Playing and teaching are two different things. After doing something for years, the basics become some ingrained that it’s easy to overlook the learning process that led to the assimilation of the skills.
The Dude/Princess practice time didn’t focus much on the rules or physicality of soccer. We didn’t focus on the running, bumping, falling, positions, watching the ball, what to do when the ball is not near you, or even what the goal is for.
This was the Princess’ first go at a full scale team practice of any kind, and her first real experience with soccer. Not to mention it is a 5-6 year old league, and she’s 5, so most of the other kids are bigger and have experience.
It’s a lot to take in, so I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt, and I can honestly say that she did a great job just being there and not getting overwhelmed. However, “sporty” may not be the adjective we use to describe The Princess. I’m still holding out hope, but words like pretty, sweet, graceful, artistic, friendly, or great style may be more fitting.
My gut is saying that dance (starting next week), may be a bit more natural. But I’m still holding out hope, and we’ll have some additional Dude/Princess practice time today.
This picture is a bit deceiving. It looks like she’s actually running! My guess is it was just a fast walk. Most of her practice time was spent chatting it up with a girl in a pink shirt (she’s attracted to pink like a bee to a flower), spinning in circles, and avoiding the ball.
At one point, The Princess and another underachiever were actually sitting on the field talking (yes, sitting) while the rest of the team played a scrimmage and raced towards the idle chatters. Luckily she realized the group was hurdling towards them and was able to get out of the way at the last second. However, getting out of the way of the ball is generally frowned upon when you are the last line of defense.
Oh well, she survived her first soccer experience, and we’re looking forward to practice number two this week. But we’ll have a little extra Dude/Princess practice time.
And I’ve started subliminal messages to Little Dude to get him mentally prepared for his time on the pitch. After this experience, I figure it’s never too early to start.