This is a story about soccer. First off, I am NOT a soccer mom. I just happen to have a kid that
plays soccer (ok, well, plays might be too strong a term) is on a soccer team. Now, I never really liked soccer, if only because I grew up a white kid in the rural Midwest in the 80s. We played baseball and softball. In the middle of the day, the middle of the summer, all summer long. Flashback to 1984: we play a game or two of soccer in PE, and that’s the extent of my soccer playing career. Flashback to 1996: the US women’s soccer team takes the Olympic gold medal. A huge day in woman’s sports! These women really made an impression on millions of young (and old) girls and totally strengthened the visibility and viability of female sports in this country. Flashback to 2002: I watch Bend It Like Beckham. Hey! Soccer looks kinda cool. Present day: soccer is everywhere. Our formerly soccerless community kinda likes soccer around here. We have our own county league, and the high school has a soccer team! Girls and boys compete on the same teams. Girls kicking boys’ asses! Seriously, if this had been available when I was a kid, you better believe I would have been all over kicking boys’ asses!
In our county league, a kid can play soccer at the tender age of 3…and therein lies the problem. Three-year-olds are not, in general, very interested in, or very good at, competitive sports. Neither is my 4-year-old. You see, I am what you might call old school when it comes to sports. Winners are winners and losers are losers. You don’t get a trophy for last place. You play to win. You don’t stand around, twirl your hair, and look at the ground. You don’t play a sport UNLESS YOU WANT TO. I cannot bear to watch my kid stand around, twirl her hair, and look at the ground. What have I done? Three is too young. Four is too young. Five? Probably too young. So, chalk this one up to lesson learned. Next year, we’re playing T-ball!!