Then it happened. My child who had been content with dancing and showing off her amazing technique and deportment on the dance studio floor had had enough. No longer did she want to learn to be a graceful ballerina or an energetic tap dancer. She now longed to be on an open field of green grass in a pair of ugly black soccer socks and cleats.
Since I wasn't a soccer mom, I didn't argue when my daughter asked to play Spring soccer. I had heard that Spring soccer was even more laid back than Fall soccer at our club, so that meant that I'd be in for more of my daughter gazing at the sky while the other kids played, or some dandelion picking. What I wasn't expecting was an actual coach for my daughter's team. But that's what happened in the spring of 2009.
It started with an email that made me think we had a delusional person on our hands. The coach sent out an email that outlined goals he wanted the girls on his team to strive towards and a few video attachments of skills the girls should work on daily to develop ball handling skills. The team also had a name. It was the Mighty Ducks. "Are you kidding me?" I asked my husband as I read the forwarded email. Then he mentioned that there was even a team chant that the kids had to learn. As we listened to the attached wav file with the team chant I began to wonder just what we had gotten ourselves into. We hadn't even met the coach for our first practice yet and already it seemed like we were in for a totally different soccer experience. I mused to my husband that maybe this is what soccer is like when your kid has a coach.
|My focused little Mighty Duck|
|Using skills learned in the Spring against the Fall 09 Ducks|
At the end of the Fall season the awesome coach from the Spring approached us about playing indoor soccer. Instantly we told him we were on board. I didn't want to be bothered with indoor soccer but if it meant my daughter could be on his team and continue to grow as a player, then I was all for it. She played two sessions of indoor soccer that spanned four months of Sundays. I only went to a couple of the games, but my husband who was now an assistant coach would come home and tell me about how Madeline and the rest of the team were progressing.
|About to score a goal!|
For those of you wondering just how someone knows they're a soccer mom here's how I realized it: When you find yourself at a soccer tournament eyeing up things like six seater fold up team benches, folding chairs with umbrella attachments and little canopy tents and wishing you had them for yourself, your child's team and your fellow soccer parents, then you know you are a fully vetted soccer mom.
We had some doubts as to whether or not Madeline would be able to continue to play under her coach this fall. Because of the excellent training and direction given to her team by her dedicated coach there had been many parents who were upset that our team was as skilled as it was. Sadly, in this day and age where many people have lost sight of the fact that life isn't always fair nor is it supposed to be, several parents of children on teams that had lost to our team had complained to the powers that be in our soccer club. These seemingly misdirected complaints threatened our team and caused many of our team members to be scattered to other teams this fall. Thankfully, Madeline and a few of her teammates were kept together. The four girls who were kept together for this fall were by no means shining stars during the Spring season. They were just solid team players that do their best to execute the skills learned during practice on the playing field.
|Protect the ball!|
Great coaches, like teachers, have the ability to touch and change lives. It has been a blessing and a privilege to have Coach R. coach my daughter over the past 18 months. It is my sincere hope that he will continue to be her coach for many years to come. I believe she can go far in the game of soccer with this phenomenal coach. Coach R. truly has a gift for taking any player that comes his way and moulding her into a soccer player. And mothers who are firmly resolved to not be soccer moms? Yeah, he can convert them into the biggest cheerleaders on the sidelines.