Reid had her first soccer practice/game on Saturday morning (May 1st). She is on the navy blue team this year. She was on the brown team last year and so we cheer “Go, Brown!” and I always thought of the NASCAR races with Dale Jarrett and the “Race the truck” ads for UPS. This year, it’s much cooler. I’ll call (really loud), “Go, Navy!” and then say (quietly), “Beat Army.” Because you can’t say just, “Go, Navy!” It wouldn’t be right.
Last year, the kids were 3-5 years old and the skills development included:
* not leaving the field in the middle of the game
* not touching the ball with your hands
* knowing toward which net your team was trying to shoot
* basics of dribbling and shooting the ball
The coach at Saturday’s practice taught the 5-7 year olds to do “step ons”, where they alternated standing with the left or right foot on the ball and jumping over the ball. Well, they were supposed to jump over the ball but Reid mostly jumped in the general vicinity of the ball.
After the practice portion, Navy played Yellow and luck was not in Navy’s favour. The Yellow team had nearly twice as many players and about that much more ambition and aggression. Reid needed regular reminders to look for the ball. I don’t mind if she isn’t always the first one to the ball when it comes near her but I’d like her to be aware of the fact that it was near her. There was one boy on Yellow who has perfected trash talking – “That’s going to leave a mark!” and “He’s going to feel that one in morning!” comments when one of the other little kids was hurt – and is a ball hog. I’m hoping Yellow doesn’t come up too often on the schedule.
Given my poor grasp on the concept of “home time”, Reid also started baseball on Monday night. It all started when the mother of one of Reid’s friends asked Reid if she were going to play soccer and baseball at MP with E. Reid got excited and they both seemed like fun to me. E’s mom has subsequently decided to enroll E in a different soccer program and not in baseball. I might be suggestible but I’m not a follower. Reid can play without E.
Reid and Ken joined other kid-parent pairs tossing the ball back and forth to each other as they waited for the coaches to call everyone together. Once the official activities started, Reid was paired with another girl about her age and they practiced throwing underhand and overhand to each other. Reid did a pretty good job of paying attention to where the ball is – a major challenge in soccer – and even caught a few balls. She threw once to her partner when her partner was looking at something else entirely but, fortunately, Reid’s throw was inaccurate enough not to make contact.
The kids played a one-inning, everyone-bats “game” after their arms were limber. Reid decided to bat from the “wrong” side of the plate. Ken is more relaxed than me. No, really. He said that Reid might bat left-handed but I’ve never seen evidence of ambidexterity. I don’t let my more limited baseball experience interfere with my conviction it this regard. In any case, Reid was called out at first but was confused by what to do next. The other parents encouraged her to stay on base and she did. There were other kids who left the field later, though, and so we’ll have to explain the process to Reid.
Everything about T-ball went smoothly except the batting helmet. I’d told Reid to keep her cap on when they put the batting helmet on – I fear lice – but it wouldn’t fit and so I had to recant. Reid looked a little worried since I’d explained about bugs getting from another kid’s hair onto the helmet and then onto her own hair. And worse from Reid’s hair onto mine! I’m hunting madly for a head cloth, like bikers wear, to put on Reid’s head. Since her uniform t-shirt is black with orange, a Harley-Davidson cloth would be just right. I’ll have to swing by the store soon.
All this to say, “Game on!”