This is the first year that any of our kids have played soccer – both Lucas(14) and Noah(13) signed up and they were excited to try something new even though they’re on separate teams since the brackets break up right between age 13 and age 14. So here we are right in the middle of soccer season and I’m here to confess that I am not enjoying it very much…
The kids are great. It’s the adults that are giving me a headache.
Many of the other parents have expressed that they don’t like having “the new kid” on their kids’ team because their kid has been playing soccer hard core since they were 2 years old and these “new kids” are holding them back.
They’ve even complained to the community team organizers about having newbies on the team. Keep in mind that this is just the local rec league, this isn’t playing for the school or for the bigger league, and there are no division playoffs to be had at the end of the season.
The main purpose of rec league is to have fun, make friends, and learn a sport. There is a separate league (I believe it’s called Travel League) for the serious soccer players who want to play more often or don’t have a school team and who want to go into a playoffs division. Rec league is for fun and learning, not craziness.
The other kids don’t care that my kids are newbies, they’re actually really helpful and they enjoy teaching each other all sorts of things. The experienced kids love showing off what they know and being able to teach it to someone else makes them feel accomplished at what they’re doing. And it’s easier for kids to learn from other kids. The coach can explain and demonstrate all afternoon without the kids “getting” something, then after one explanation and demo from a teammate suddenly everyone understands and they’re having fun instead of getting frustrated.
Kids are awesome and adults are idiots sometimes – that’s just the way it goes.
Soccer Saturday – Noah’s Game
This photo was taken by me at one of Noah’s games on a Saturday morning.
The soccer fields in our area are all set up to put a line of separation between parents and the playing field. There’s one set of bleachers back and away, some fields even have a fence between the bleachers and the playing field. The bleachers are divided into two sections, one for “home” and one for “away.” 95% of the parents do not sit back and away, they bring lawn chairs and park their butts right up against the field out of bounds line. (And of course they then whine and complain when a ball hits them or knocks over their fancy water bottle…)
These parents sit or stand on the sidelines, literally right up against the line, and yell and complain during games and practices. I don’t think they realize they’re distracting their kid more than helping them. A few times our coach has told parents to be quiet, because she’s losing her voice trying to yell over them to communicate with the team.
It’s supposed to storm all day tomorrow, and I hate to admit it but I’m kind of glad because games will all get canceled. Our last three soccer games have been played in light rain and we’re all starting to get sick at this point. I might not always like soccer and the other parents might think I’m strange, but I will be there to support my kid even if it means standing in the rain and wind for 90 minutes.
So what’s the business lesson here? Well, there are a few things we can learn from kids playing soccer….
First of all, there’s always someone further along in skill than you at what you’re doing, but you can always learn from each other. Ignore whatever is being yelled at you from the sidelines by crazy people trying to sell you on the idea that their way is the best way and just focus on the goal.