Saturday, September 07, 2013

The Highs and Lows of a New Soccer Season

So today was Rachel's first soccer game of the fall season.  It was an interesting day.

This year, she is on a different team than she has been for the past 3 years.  In Springdale, they are trying to get all the girls from the same schools on the same teams.  There is apparently only 1 other Shiloh girl in her age group.

Rachel (and Mike and I) were disappointed she wasn't going to be on her team that she's been playing with for some time.  It was a team of girls from Walker Elementary and girls she knew from when she went there.  And, not to mention, the team that has been undefeated in all those seasons.  They were getting really good playing together.  Rachel has been getting quite a bit better and gaining more soccer skill playing with these girls and under her coach.  But that's how the cards were dealt and we were just going to make the best of it.  New friends and all.

The Youth Center called before we knew of our team and said the reason we hadn't been contacted yet was because they couldn't find a coach and asked if either my husband or myself would be interested in coaching.  I literally laughed at the girl on the phone.  I mean, I know a couple things about soccer from our kids playing the past few years, but lawsy.  No can do on the coaching thing - for me or Mike.  A coach was finally found, but then texted the day we were supposed to have our first practice to say he just couldn't do it.  Uhhhh.... Another coach was found and she seems to know what she's doing.... sort of.

Rachel kept saying she just hoped she didn't play her old team.  Well.  Guess who our first opponent was.  And guess which girl had a bit of a hard time with that.  Or should I say girls.... I may have been a little down about that as well, but boy did I try and encourage my girl before the game started that she needed to make her old coach super proud of her today!

Our team basically got pummeled.  The other team scored on the first play of the game and had 2 goals within the first 5 minutes.  There are girls on our team that clearly have never played at all.  Seriously.  And I may have gotten a bit on the, um, loud side a time or two when some of the girls tended to not....oh I don't ANYTHING.  Now, I'm not necessarily that parent that will be ugly to the other team unless they are just plain mean, but with my own kids if they aren't putting forth their best effort, I may encourage them in a not so quiet way that they need to get their fannies in gear.  My sweet husband informed me today that I may need to, um, calm down a little bit in my encouragement.

Rachel scored the first goal for her team today.  Embarrassingly, I cheered so loud and hard that I made myself a bit dizzy for a second.  That was one of only two goals the team scored, compared to about 10 goals from the other team.  After the final whistle and the "good game" high fives, Rachel walked over to us very defeated.  She at first said she was just tired.  All it took was me looking at her and saying "what's wrong" for her to bury her face in my shoulder and start crying.  That was a hard game for that sweet girl.  She was sad she wasn't playing with her friends.  She was disappointed they lost.  It was a hard first game of the season playing against her old team and being beaten by them, knowing she would have been with her friends on the winning team if things had been different.

After a bit of talking and encouragement, things are better and we are looking forward to this season.  It will be different from seasons past to be sure.  Rachel will be one of the ones with the most experience, which is a switch.  She's gonna take the attitude that she will be a helper to her new friends and share some of what she's learned in the past few years with her teammates that may need some encouragement.  And I'm going to have to lighten up a bit.  God help me when my kids are old enough to play competitive sports in Jr. High or high school.  You probably won't want to be sitting by me....