Henry, the Soccer Star

We signed Henry up for the fall season of 3-4 year old soccer at the Bardmoor YMCA, because he always seems to be either running or kicking things (often, both)! His division practices and plays a scrimmage game on Saturday mornings, and his first one occurred this past Saturday. Not having any experience with organized sports other than playing when I was a kid, we dressed him in his gear, all piled in the car, and drove to the Y.
I’m not sure why I thought it would be like my practices when I was in high school, but what awaited was chaos. Perfectly fine chaos when you’re organizing soccer skills with 25 or so 3-4 year olds at varying levels of competence (seriously, the coaches were excellent angels). Keith, of course, was prepared and able to relax and go with the flow. Not me. My Type A, disliking trying anything new because I can’t do it perfectly attitude was not helpful one bit. I panicked, my anxiety went to eleven, and I tried to compensate by sticking close to Henry to help. I wasn’t actually helping, but instead enabling his three-nager sensibilities (upping his crying and whiny-ness). I realized what I was doing, and managed to snap out of it, but the damage was done (for me, anyway). Time to obsess how I made everything terrible and did it wrong and how he was going to hate soccer. Yada, yada, yada.
My brain gets in these negative loops that only cause things to feel more horrible. I have to actively work to fight against my natural inclination to obsess over the bad. They are simply thoughts, not reality. I know that. It’s just really hard when I’m in the moment.
Later on in the day, Henry told me he had a lot of fun at soccer. He loved running and kicking the ball (despite face planting two steps into the scrimmage), and was the fastest kid at dribbling the ball across the field (running is his superpower, after all). He said he did not like how far away me and Keith were from him during the practice and game, so he didn’t even notice I was feeling anxious. Kids are outstanding, especially mine.

Next Saturday, I’ll be better prepared. And if I need a break, I can always go inside the gym to Body Combat class.

1 thought on “Henry, the Soccer Star

  1. I can relate to the range of emotions that happen during the initial introduction to team sports for children! I’m Henry’s grandmother and remember that Henry’s daddy Keith adapted quite well with his first soccer game. He even made a life-time friend on his first team (that’s you, Jon Trunk)! Pre-school soccer pretty much revolves around most of the kids surrounding and running around the ball. Not having experienced team sports myself, I secretly delighted in how polite Keith was in his interactions with team members and opposition team members! The much harder “mom-moment” was when we had encouraged younger brother Brent to play on his brother’s team. At his very first game, he got hit with a hard kicked ball directly to his face. I remember having a really ifficult time with the commonly held philosophy that you have to climb back up and ride the horse again!

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