Saturday, May 7, 2011

Revenge of the soccer mom

I am not ready for soccer-mommyhood yet. But I think it's only a matter of time. So far the organization - or lack thereof - is driving me batty.

We are halfway through our second season of magnet ball, aka youth soccer. When you have 4-and 5-year-olds running around, all following the ball with complete disregard for order, positions or passing, I think the term "soccer" should be used very loosely.

While Nathaniel has the coordination and energy level for running up and down the field incessantly, he is lacking one important thing. Height.

I know, shocker. Our kid is short.

He is at least a foot shorter than all the kids on his team. Only one girl has about an inch on him. He can keep with the herd and if he could actually get to the ball, he has good dribbling skills. But there are a few taller, older kids on his team that can just flat out out-run everyone.

One kid in particular is miles ahead of everyone else. He's just fast. And good. And he knows it. He wants the ball all. the. time. And the volunteer coaches are too nice to tell him to back off and let his teammates have a chance too. I love that he seems to have talent and a love of the game at a young age, but this is also the perfect time to teach a little bit about being a member of a TEAM.

He scored 7 goals in one game. No one else - on either team - scored until the end, when the coaches all but duct-taped him to his own goal post. I get that no one is really keeping score, but come on.

After striking up a brief conversation with his mom, who was at a recent game and was paying more attention to who she knew on the sidelines, I found out that he has never played this well (not buying it) and that he just turned 6. Um, excuse me? This is a 5 and under league. My kid can barely keep up with kids his own age, let alone someone who's two years older.

I have heard through the grapevine that the league had too many kids in the 7 and under age bracket, so they moved some down into ours. How is that fair? Cap the sign-ups or add more teams where you need them. Trying to take shortcuts effects the kids more than anyone.

It's not fair to our superstar that he can run rampant over everyone on the field. Aren't sports supposed to be about rising to the challenge and learning to succeed? It's not fair to my runt that he has extra tall and developed kids to try to keep up with. Set the bar higher than it should be and he's going to get discouraged.

He's gonna figure out soon enough how the world really works.

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