Tuesday, October 19, 2010

B5 the Soccer Engine

It's been a new thing for this theater mom to enter the soccer world.

It's c-c-c-colllllder, for one thing; it seems no matter how appropriately I think I am dressed when I leave home, by the time I've sat for 10 minutes at the soccer field, the wind has whipped its way through my clothing, finding all the cracks in my fragile armor.  Give me cushy indoor auditorium seating any day.

There's less to do, too.  I guess I could take a turn selling refreshments sometime, but other than that, you can watch the game, or you can watch the game and yell helpful things while you watch.  But you'll be one of the only parents taking the latter option, so you'll feel a little silly, especially if you don't know what you're saying.

Because there's all this vocabulary to learn, like "header," "punt," "off-sides" and "yellow card"--all the official lingo.  There are the coaching strategy terms that I have no idea when to use, like "up the middle,""pass" and "turn it." And we have colorful, descriptive terms used to compliment a player:  "I'm telling you, that guy has got a foot" means "He can really kick."  "That kid has wheels" means "That player can really run."  I'm slowly getting the hang of it.

So one Saturday morning at one of Bantam5's games, I enjoyed talking to one of the other parents with a son on the same team, who happens to be B11's coach. He told me B11 has wheels, and a foot, and he just needs to play more soccer to pull it all together.  Then I told him B5 was my son too, and he said, "Oh, you're B5's mom? Man, that kid...that kid has an ENGINE!"

That is about the best description of B5 that anyone has come up with. On or off the soccer field, that kid has so much energy.  It's focused energy.  He's not bouncing off the walls. He's not hyperactive. But he's as full of beans as they come.

And on the soccer field, he's a joy to watch.  He loves to run so much that he can hardly stand to stop play. He'll hop in place, in a little skip of joy, while waiting on a throw-in.  If the coach tells them to spread out, he'll run to the far side of the field.

It's a little field.  In fact, he came home from his first practice delighted to be playing, but concerned about one thing:  "There was something wrong with the field, Mom.  It was TINY!" He wants to run and run like the big boys do, but instead, they play on about a 1/8 size field.  They play four-on-four with no goalie, and nobody really keeps score but we all cheer when a goal is scored, about every four minutes. Compared to the big kid, low-score games, it's much more fun to watch these little guys traveling around in a pack near the ball, with the coaches on the field with them, shouting encouragements like, "Remember our goal is over THERE!"

By the end of his first game, B5 had found his groove.  His eyes hardly left the ball.  When all the bodies clustered 'round, he'd be the one to get a foot on that ball and send it in the right direction. A few more games, and he was analyzing his own goals: "I saw some kids on that side, and some more kids on the other side, and I saw a hole in between, so I kicked it right through that hole and into the goal." He has a foot, and wheels, and something rare among the five-year-olds:  he has focus.

And energy to spare. Anybody need an engine?

1 comment:

MomCO3 said...

It's great to see him enjoying it so much!