This season, all three kids are playing soccer for LYSA, which is the same organization for which I played when I was younger. They do a great job with the kids and even at this young age, the kids are starting to learn about the sport, being on a team, sportsmanship, etc. The boys are together on a 3 year old team and Mairead is on an Under-6 team, which means two games every Saturday at a field across the city. Dave usually takes whoever is playing while I am home with other(s). They seem to be more likely to actually play while he is there. When I go, they want to cling to me. They are all still a little nervous about it, but they get better every week. Mairead actually had a great week recently in which she played the entire game and seemed to be much more comfortable. She tried out the keeper position and seemed to really like that. I think it would be pretty neat if she turned out to be a goalie, just like her mom. Last week, a little girl was upset and Dave prompted Mairead to see if she could help. Mairead went over to the girl and spoke to her and told her to cheer up. We are thrilled to see that kind of empathy and conversation.
Since soccer can be a little overwhelming and intimidating for all three of them, we are trying to find a balance between making them at least try each week, trying to get them to be part of the team as much as possible, but being careful not to make soccer something they dread. I'm really hoping that as they get older they will truly enjoy it. I have so many great memories of soccer and made some great friends. True, I have some no so great memories of hard lessons learned, but I think that being on a sports team can teach so much. I'd love to see them enjoy the experience!
This boy, who was on Mairead's team last year, is seriously a superstar. The coach sometimes has to make him wait a few minutes while the other kids play before he is allowed to go steal the ball and score. He is awesome.
Jack and Ben are by far the smallest on their team, maybe in their league! They just made the age cut-off by a few weeks, so they are pretty much as young as anyone can be to play in the league. They do a lot of wandering and rarely last more than 10-15 minutes of the game, but we're getting there. Ben is #1 and Jack is #5. They both do have some decent skills, so once they warm up to the chaos of it all, I think they will really like playing. Let's hope so!