Our first weekend of soccer was a great success! The kids were amazing!
Who knew that all you had to do to get kids to crush the other team was to tell them that the other kids were going to steal all their toys unless we beat them 10-0?
In all honesty, I had no idea how the kids would do. We've been practicing lots of fun games that are designed to get the kids as many touches on the ball as possible, but I wasn't sure how they would translate to the real game.
The one drill that we do at practice that seemed to really hit home was when we gave each kid the chance to take the ball down the field and score. During the game, whenever we'd kick the ball off, I'd get down to the kids' level, point at one of them and say, "I want YOU to take the ball all the way down the field and score." Occasionally a player would complain that the other team "wasn't sharing" the ball with them, and I'd say, "That's because the other team is made up of a bunch of egotistical a-holes. NOW GO KILL THEM!" Well, maybe something closer to, "They're not on your team - they're not going to share with you! NOW RIP THEIR HEADS OFF!"
We had two games on Saturday, and I think we won the first game. To be honest, I'm not really sure. Our team scored on a combination of plays whose legality is questionable. In one instance, one of my players dribbled the ball all the way down the field, weaving in and out of traffic like Diego Maradona, only to stop a foot from the goal, bend down and pick the ball up with his hands, then place it gently in front of the goal before kicking it in. In another instance, a player threw the ball into himself and then immediately scored. In yet another goal, the ball actually went behind the goal and then was kicked in from the far side, like a hockey highlight. Those plays were incredible but highly illegal, yet if the ref doesn't blow the whistle then who's to say that they are really fouls?
From where I was standing, Ref, they looked good to me!
The best part of the day was when one of my players, who has been extremely shy at practice, got on the field for a brief moment. He's barely kicked a ball at practice, but in the game he took the ball all the way down the field and down to the goal! He missed the actual shot, but it didn't matter. I was so proud of him!
Annie didn't play the entire first game. She got on the field right before the second half only to burst out into tears before kickoff. She did play in the second game for a little bit and was brilliant, until she decided to make snow angels in the clovers. But in her defense, they were incredible snow / clover angels.
As for me, I'm too old for this. I was so worn out by the end of the first game that I could barely walk. I barely made it through the second game, and I only made it because I got to rest in between games. I was so excited with my team's play that I was running up and down the field, shouting, and I don't think I've run that much in about 20 years. I went home after the second game and slept for three hours!
So I'll say that we're 1-1 even though I'm not sure if we won the first game. Next stop: The U4 Championship!