Two weekends ago the girls had their fourth soccer game. This means that soccer season is half way over. My girls are slowly getting better at getting into the crowd to go after the ball. They each got into the crowd and wedged their way in for a quick kick at the ball. Unfortunately, once they’ve touched the ball, they have no intention of kicking the ball again. In fact, they usually shut down and refuse to run after that point because someone stole the ball from them.
The remainder of the game the run back and forth on the field, trying to stay with the group. I feel like all I’m doing is screaming “Come on, get in there!” Their competitive nature has not kicked in when it comes to sports at this point.
The following weekend’s game (number 5) was a much harder game. The morning of the game we received three phone calls of girls out that day due to illness and a funeral. This meant only three players on the team. Unfortunately for my two girls, you can play a game with three players. Right before the game started, Joel talked to the other coach and asked him if they would mind playing just three players at a time, that way it was three on three. He happily agreed and understood our dilemma for the day. The first half of the game was long for the girls. They ran back and forth, Bailey and Brooke both got control of the ball dribbling it for a few feet before it was taken by an opposing player. By the half time break these girls were tired from all of the running.
During the half time break, the other coach talked to Joel and offered a loan player for our team. This is allowed in children’s soccer to loan a player to even the field. Our three players would still play the entire second half but we would have a fourth player from the opposing team. The coach offered his own daughter to play on the opposing team. By this point both sides were cheering for both teams. I think it was the best sportsmanship example for kids. To show that all that matters is that they play and have fun.
During the past four games, my girls have experienced the pushing phase of soccer. Now I know that you are not supposed to push other players, but it seems that when you are four and running into a group of players, trying to get a ball, your first instinct is to put your hands up to push them away from you. I do not believe that any of this is out of anger or to be mean. I have seen several kids do this over the four games.
Unfortunately, my kids are the ones that get pushed a lot. Which may be causing them to back off and not get into the group, they don’t want to be pushed. As a parent it is frustrating to see your child pushed and to have them crying because they don’t understand why someone would do that. Well a new twist occurred in this past week’s soccer game.
Brooke got pushed early in the first quarter. She was not pleased by this but continued to play. It was not long before that same girl pushed her again. Brooke brushed it off and continued to play. By the third time that the girl pushed Brooke she was mad. This time she did not brush it off but shoved the girl back. Joel was standing by me when it happened, both of us stunned that she reacted that way. Brooke is our timid child, who cries if someone taps her. So to see her push another girl was a big surprise. We didn’t yell at her, or pull her off the field in that moment. I knew we would talk to her about it at the next break, reminding her that we don’t push, which is exactly what we did during the half time break.
Our little talk did not stick with her for long. During the third quarter the same girl pushed her trying to get the ball. Brooke stopped focusing on getting the ball but was determined to get the girl back for pushing her yet again. After the third quarter we had the same talk again with Brooke, adding that the best thing to do if someone pushes you when trying to get the ball, is to get back out there and take the ball to score a goal. We started trying to channel that frustration into a competitive nature for her. We know it’s there because she wants to steal the ball from her sister or me when we play at home. Our biggest hope is to move her into a positive competitive nature on the field without the need to push an opponent.
I have been working on “keep away” strategies with them in our backyard on off days from soccer practice. They love to chase me to get the ball back. It has worked to bring them some speed and determination on getting their ball back. They both have been able to maneuver themselves in front of me to snatch the ball, turn it around and run back across with me chasing them. It’s been helpful in teaching them strategies on trying to swoop in and get the ball. We are seeing growth in their soccer skills.
Coming Up On The Blog
- I have been working on the homeschool recaps for each month of homeschool. I am a little behind in updating those on the blog. Sorry about that. You will see those posts published over the next couple of weeks.
- Mother’s Day is around the corner so be watching for that post.
- Later in May I will be sharing our summer plan for reading and math learning.