Friday, April 27, 2012

Pushing vs. Waiting

I started my soccer mom status when David was 4 years old.  He spent his first season picking dandelions on the field and touched the ball maybe three times the entire season.  But he has always loved soccer.  He has since improved dramatically and is now a very good defender, his favorite position to play.

Lizzy started playing soccer when she was 4 and spent her first season much like her brother but threw in some girl chat, cartwheels, and spins.  

Rain or shine, we're there to cheer on our team(s)

Joy is playing her first season of soccer, also at age 4.  Yesterday she played her first game.  While she didn't pick flowers, talk to her friends, do cartwheels or show off her dance moves, she did spend a lot of the game just standing there looking clueless.  She managed to kick the ball three times, so I considered it a successful first game.  

I have always just assumed that my kids would play soccer since Hubby and I both played soccer, one season even on the same team.  This past fall, Lizzy put her foot down and said she was done with soccer and wanted to do something a bit more "girly."  She chose gymnastics.  Never have I seen a girl more excited and happy than Lizzy at gymnastics class.  She was terrible, uncoordinated, and inflexible when she first started.  Within a few weeks she was actually pretty decent.  She had visions of being a famous gymnast which I gently had to squash due to her genetics--she's most likely going to end up between 5'8" and 6'0", not exactly gymnast size.

I admit I was a little sad that she'd tossed soccer aside.  But I didn't want to push her into something she didn't seem to be very good at anyway (after 3 seasons she still spent almost all her time picking flowers, talking, and just about everything else except actually playing soccer).  

The only part Lizzy liked about soccer was playing Goalie

This spring Lizzy decided to take up soccer again.  She seemed excited, but I had my doubts due to past experience.  I don't know if it's that she's matured since last year, or if it's due to having an excellent coach (a family friend), or that she's now playing on a larger field with larger goals (vs. tiny goals and a small field for 4-6 year olds), but after her first practice she said that she loved soccer and couldn't wait for the next practice.  Last night she had a really big smile on her face while playing in her first game, she was doing her best to get to the ball, and did a pretty decent job for a girl who has never really played soccer (I'm not sure the last 3 seasons really count as playing soccer).  

While at the time I thought that Lizzy was giving up soccer completely, I'm glad that I let her make that decision for herself and didn't push her to do something unessential that she really didn't want to do.  It makes her joy this season so much sweeter.  

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