Friday, September 29, 2006

Return of Soccer Dad

Jacob won his first soccer game this past weekend. It was a nice change. We'd already dropped the first two of the season and I was not looking forward to another semester of futility. Its funny, I almost typed "year" there instead of semester. I'm used to a sports season lasting its time and then ending for a year. But of course youth sports often run year-round, so "last season" really means "a couple of months ago".

But they won, which was good. It’s a completely different team this year. His old coach and all of the girls from last season's team elected to move into the all-girls league. So a new team. And really, a very different sort of game. At this age level, you now have actual positions (including goalkeeper), as opposed to having every kid out there chasing the ball. The field is much much larger. And they are enforcing more rules, like "offsides", which I looked up but still don't really understand.

Another change, and I don’t know if this is league-wide but I think that it is, is that parents and spectators have to be on the opposite side of the field from the players. Last season we all hung out together. I'm not sure why, though maybe coaches didn't like parents coaching their kids (I never did that ), or something happened last time around that

He and this team were completely new to each other. They aren’t a bad bunch. Some are in fact awfully good, including the two girls, a guy who seems destined to becoming a goalkeeper, another defender, Jacob of course, who loves being mid-midfielder, and another kid who would be pretty scary if he had longer legs. Most of the rest seem average to me, but I have seen another guy making some moves at practice, which if he can do that in a game, will make some noise.

I like the coach too, so I don’t think I'll have the same sort of troubles I had last time around when I felt like the coach was missing some important nuances. Now all I have to do is restrain myself when the other team scores a goal because a couple of defenders are standing around, paying no attention to the ball and talking about whatever 8-year-olds talk about in the middle of the game.

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