A few weeks ago my family embarked into uncharted territory. For the first time our daughter was going to participate on a sports team. A lot of emotions came into play when making that decision. The worst of the emotions was realizing that she was actually old enough to sign up. I’ve always known that once she was around other kids her own age that my daughter would thrive, but I had no idea how much she would enjoy and look forward to all things soccer.
Anticipation built as we neared the commencement of the season. We spent weeks traveling from store to store looking for the best deals on soccer gear. Financially, it’s a little bit of an investment. Soccer requires shin pads, socks, balls, and specific colored shorts. The trickiest part of the whole ordeal was locating ensembles in her itty bitty size.
For weeks we built up excitement for the first practice. We counted down with our daughter and every day she woke up asking if she had practice. It was a fun time. When the day of the first practice finally arrived so did a massive thunderstorm. Minutes before the practice was scheduled to begin the coach e-mailed to cancel. It was so heartbreaking to our three year old who could barely do anything except think about practice all day.
As a family, we decided to practice anyway. We passed the ball. Worked on scoring, and had a blast.
Her first official practice was a cold one. The wind was blowing and all of the players showed up in jackets. As parents, we sat huddled under a blanket cheering our little player on through chattering teeth. However, she wasn’t bothered in the slightest about the inclimate conditions.
The coach approached us and asked my daughter if she was ready to play. Her response was a chanting, “I am, I am!” while jumping up and down and raising her hand in the air.
I watched as many children shied away from the others. Like my daughter, this was the first experience for most of the team. Unsure how to respond to one another each player kept to themselves and close by mom and dad for that first practice. Except for our daughter who took on the role of “Team Cheerleader” as she encouraged her new teammates and herself (we will work on humility at a later age) during each drill and exercise.
We are two weeks and three practices into her inaugural season. With each time on the field she has become a more confident and aggressive player. She’s one of the smallest kids out on the field, but she plays with heart.
Nothing warms my heart more than watching my daughter enjoy learning something new. This has truly been a wonderful experience thus far, and I am so thankful that a friend told me about a league open to her age bracket. I could get used to the soccer mom life.
The Ameri Brit Mom