Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Bring on the Sports

Our entire fall season is currently filled up with soccer and football and we wouldn't have it any other way. 4 nights a week we have 2 kids in soccer practice with games on Saturdays. And then our entire weekend is filled with football watching! We love it! It sounds a little crazy busy but really it's nothing. I almost feel like we aren't doing enough LoL

Lexi has been playing soccer for 8yrs now. She started when she was just 4 with a short season of indoor soccer while John was deployed the first time... and she hasn't stopped playing since. She has high hopes for one day playing professionally and if she is going to make that dream come true, I am going to have to help her along the way (read: shell out the money for better leagues). Currently she is playing for a recreation league on a U14 team. I am pretty sure the majority of the girls on the team don't actually take it seriously and up until this past weekend I was convinced we were only hurting her by having her play on this team. The coach is not exactly the best, and I would venture to say he is the worst coach I have ever encountered in the 8yrs we have been involved with the sport. John and I have a hard time watching the team play... partly because of the coaches inability to properly teach the girls and partly because the team just doesn't show enough seriousness. If they mess up, they laugh. If Lexi messes up, it pisses her off. She leaves her game each week in a mess of emotions from sad to angry. It hurts to see her that way. I know she isn't perfect. I know she makes mistakes. And I expect her to make mistakes... how will she learn from them if she never makes them? However, the coach pretty much contradicts everything she has ever learned about soccer... that makes it difficult for her to better herself as an individual and as a team player. We will be glad when this season is over, for all of our sakes.

My other soccer star is Adam. He has also been playing since he was 4 and he is an animal out there. He started his soccer "career" as a quick, little, ninja, ball hog! If Adam was on the field, he had the ball. If Adam had the ball, he was down the field in a flash. If Adam had the ball, Adam scored! It went that way until last season when he started playing U8 with goalies. I take that back, he started talking to his teammates more and passing the ball more when he played U7 the season prior to that but you could bet if he had the ball, he was scoring. Anyway, back to U8. He was passing, he was talking, he was dodging, he was playing goalie! He loved every minute of it. When I signed him up this season in Hawaii, he was determined to be goalie so he started practicing with Jacob in the backyard. Come to find out, they don't use goalies for U-8 here. He was rather disappointed but got over it quickly. And he loves his coach... as do we! These boys may only be 7 and 8 yrs old but they practice like bosses. They do hill sprints, they jog the length of the giant field they practice at, they side shuffle across the soccer field, they run backwards, they do push ups and sit ups and they rock it! Adam is a maniac out there. He never stops. He is a ball of motion on that field. They finally had their first game last week and it was the first time (aside from a scrimmage) that they actually played on the field as a team. It was comical, it was cute and it was fun to watch. I don't have high expectations out of kids this age for working together and playing their positions and not stealing the ball from each other... it happens. They just haven't grasped the concept. To them it's "Get the ball and score." Seeing the same kind of mentality at the U14 game, that is what grates on my nerves. Oh, we are talking about Adam... so yeah, it's much more enjoyable to watch his games. They had their second game this past Saturday and it was a great game! They played just a bit better than the week before and Adam seemed to be getting acclimated to running in the sun (there is a lot of shade at practice). He even scored TWICE! Another thing I love about this age group... they don't get too disappointed when they lose or mess up. It's still just fun being out there.

I don't want you all to think I am disappointed in my daughter... that is not the case. I am disappointed that at her age she is still dealing with the same kinds of things that happen in a U8 game. Stealing the ball from your own teammate, walking on the field instead of running, not knowing how to be a goalie (just because a girl is bigger does not mean she is going to make a good goalie), passing to the other team instead of your own team and terrible, terrible throw ins (KEEP YOUR FOOT DOWN!!!) Basic things that these girls should know but I suppose I am expecting too much from a rec. league. Time to find a more competitive league... of course that means more money too. It will all be worth it though when I see my daughter chasing her dream.

The other three kids are not currently in any sports. Jacob refused to play soccer when they wouldn't allow him to play up an age group in order to play on the same team as Lexi and wouldn't allow Lexi to play on a boys team at all. Oh, how I wish she could have played on a boys team. Those two only get along on the soccer field and they make a great team. I guess it was only a matter of time before she wasn't able to and had to move onto the girls' teams though. Anyway, I was going to sign Jacob up for basketball but $125 for a 9wk rec league just seemed like too much money for something he only wanted to do because he was doing nothing else. His real passion right now is "American Ninja Warrior" and if I could find him an obstacle course gym, I'd sign him up right now. He is definitely my dare devil. I've always said that he would be a professional stunt man one day. He throws himself on the ground, he slides, he dives, he climbs, he tumbles and he just keeps going. Maybe I can get him into some strength training and running and we can eventually build our own sort of obstacle course. Now THAT would be fun!

As for Kadie and Sara... they are OBSESSED with gymnastics. We traded an elliptical and trampoline for a gymnastics bar and mats prior to leaving Washington. These two girls love this thing! They are self teaching with videos from YouTube and ask every day to get their leos on so they can play on the bar. Kadie can't walk through my house without doing a cartwheel and Sara is constantly on her heels. Kadie has a lot of potential and Sara could too. I intend on signing them up for some gymnastics classes as soon as possible. I can't wait to add more crazy to our schedule :)

Oh, I almost forgot to mention... Adam was reading a book about Troy Aikman and all of a sudden decided he wants to be a football player when he grows up. What position, you ask? Oh, you know... defense! What?! Yeah... weird kid LoL He said he wants to tackle. We almost named him Thomas Anthony Nicholas Kelly (aka TANK) but it would have been completely ironic seeing as he is super skinny and super short. Maybe he could be a kicker, or a quarterback... or I suppose if he really, really wants to play defense... he will! I told him he is still too young to play tackle football, so I will sign him up when he is a little older. Of course there is also a minimum weight requirement and I am not sure he will meet it come that time but you never know. I won't crush his dreams though.

And how awesome would that be if I had a professional soccer player, a professional stuntman, a professional gymnast and a professional football player for my kids?! I'm not worried about what Sara will be... quite possibly a professional speaker. That girl never shuts up! But either way, we will have our choice of 4 professionals to mooch off of! Sweet! ;)

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