Saturday, April 05, 2014

Spring Soccer

Today was the 1st day of spring soccer though it didn't feel very spring-like.
Oliver getting pumped up to play. He was really focused, helped teammates and had a blast.

Just to confuse things, our town has two soccer leagues with very similar names. In the fall, I signed Oliver up for one of the leagues and he was assigned a team. The team was all boys ages 4-6 years old.  I didn't know about the OTHER soccer league in town until this winter when spring soccer registration opened and the other mother's were talking about it. I thought they were all signing up for the league Oliver was on, but I learned that this other league was the one most people preferred for young, pre-school children because the kids are comprised boys and girls and are all pre-schoolers (ages 3-5). It seems the league Oliver was originally on in the fall is the NEXT league you put your child into, IF they like soccer and once they have a year or two of playing soccer on a team in the other league.

Having two leagues in town with really similar names made absolutely no sense to me, but that this other soccer league was most fitting for pre-schoolers did make sense. Oliver loves soccer, but didn't always like playing on the other team because the boys on the team in 1st grade dominated the game. The youngest players on the team, Oliver and the other 4 year-olds, who were playing soccer for the first time rarely got the ball and were often bullied by the older boys on the team for not understanding what was happening or where to go in the game. Those 1st graders on the team had two years of playing team soccer behind them and had a greater understanding of the game. The 4 year olds were trying to catch on and understand the game. There was a big ability gap between the boys on the team and it all came down to age.

Even though Oliver was signed up in the other league for fall and spring soccer, I signed him up for the other league for this spring. Technically, he's in both leagues. But, after today's game in the new league, on his new team with the younger, combined boys & girls, I knew it was the right league for him at this age. The whole team is younger and just starting out in team sports and soccer. The overall feel is that everyone is there to enjoy soccer and have fun. And, Oliver had a blast and he didn't score a goal. If this had been the other league/team he was on in the fall, he would have been very upset and discouraged that he didn't score a goal (and that's mostly because the older kids on the team would point out who didn't score a goal).

Oliver played really well, was focused, made new friends and assisted his teammates. I was really proud of him, especially since it was windy and cold. He didn't complain once, I on the other hand complained a lot about the cold.

I really hope the rest of the season continues with Oliver having fun and enjoying playing the game of soccer.
They're playing AND smiling!

Oliver was given the honor of starting the game by kicking the ball into play.

Oliver running to get the ball with the opposing team hot on his heels.

Oliver celebrates after a teammate scores a goal.

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