Monday, September 13, 2010

The Unconventional Soccer Player

Well, today was VC's first official day participating in a school sport!!  If you are wondering why I bring this up, it is because it is a truly momentous occasion, since the last time VC participated in a competitive sport (not counting gym and recess) he was 5 years old.

We received an email the other day asking if he would be willing to help out the soccer team.  It is a new school so the program is still in the fledgling stages.

I immediately had flashbacks to VC on the soccer team between ages 3 and 5.  Most of that time consisted of us sitting on the bleachers cringing as VC held "coffee klatch" time in the outfield, not paying much attention to the game.  At all.  Then the few times he was on offense, he made a beeline around the clump of players vying for the ball, careful to stay out of the fray.  It was kinda like a sheep dog following along outside the sheep.  He was a smart one.  Why get in on that aggressive activity when you didn't HAVE to.

When he quit soccer at age 5 we figured we'd never be attending another soccer game and were quietly celebrating that we did NOT need to be involved in organized sports,  spending every weekend attending games.  Nope, we were the smart ones.  The only thing we needed to get him to was  his juggling practice and occasional gigs or talent shows.  It has been that way all through the eighth grade. Dang, we had it easy :D

We even sold  his new soccer ball at a garage sale a few years back.

But then, in middle school, he  took a soccer ball to school since he and some of the kids would kick the ball around at recess.  It could get pretty aggressive at times, but he loved it and apparently had an awesome kick, as he won several "shoot outs" in gym class.  What helped with his aggressiveness was chasing after the ball when the bullies would grab it a few minutes into the games at recess.  By the end of eighth grade, nobody was messing with him *pats self on back as I told him to get in there and kick a$$ when necessary*  (you may recall my bully posts from over a year ago.)

He was toying with the idea of trying out for the team at the beginning of the year.

The one thing he was unfamiliar with was the official "rules" of the game.  The thing is that between the three of us, we know a lot of stuff, but are not necessarily formally trained in most of it.  What to do, what to do:  Why, head to the library to check out a soccer book.  (He insisted we do this on my card because the best books were in the children's section.)

After reading up some, he eventually decided not to try out for the team because he wanted to focus on his acrobatics instead.  Fine.

Flashforward to this weekend when we got the email asking for help.  I asked the coach if he would be willing to meet us on a soccer field on Sunday to get VC up to speed.

We went for a walk and came back after half an hour.  The coach's words were something to the effect, "Well, he has an unusual kick-- but it works-- so we'll keep it as is."  VC explained the strategy:  Since the coach realized he had excellent speed, but did not necessarily know all the official "foot moves," that he should kick the ball away from the opponents and then run like heck to get it.

An excellent plan!!!!  It is an "away" game, so I won't be able to see him play.  It is happening as I type this.

Can a juggler morph into soccer player??  I can't wait to find out.

I just dug out this picture of him playing when he was 4 years old:

VC Playing Soccer (age 4)

It just melts my heart :-)

Did any of your children take up organized sports after many years off? How'd they do?

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