Two of our granddaughters participate in soccer leagues and our son, Matt, is the coach of both teams. Lydia is in a 4-5 year old group and Abby plays in a 6-8 year old team. Youth soccer leagues can be an interesting phenomenon. The younger children don’t completely understand the game so there is a lot of running around much like a swarm of bees. The older teams have a better grasp on the basics and you can see some players are going to be very good.
So the fields are lined with anxious parents and grandparents who cheer their young players on to the best performance they can muster. Of course there is always room for a little fun and everyone has a good laugh when a player forgets which way to run and scores on their own goal….or just stops to look at the dandelions.
Soccer is very much like American football – they do not stop a game for a little rain. So more than once we sat and held our umbrellas for the entire game and walked through some very muddy fields to and from our cars. The teams don’t officially keep score but each kid knows exactly who is leading the game.
At the end of the season every child gets a trophy for practicing and playing with the teams. While some people may look down on the practice of giving a trophy to each kid….we are here to testify that it certainly brings some very big smiles to their faces.