Most of the time it’s great.
I love many, many things about being a soccer mum. First and foremost, I love that K and J are participating in a sport, exercising and having fun with their teammates. It’s also pretty damn great that K was able to play up an age group this year so they are on the same team. Certainly makes life easier for us!
I love the friendship that has developed with this bunch of boys. I see the way they interact with each other during their Sunday muck around fun games, and it is natural and playful. The boys have matured enough to understand that gentle teasing among friends does not hurt and are able to give and take some ribbing.
I love the fact that during the soccer season, our boys are guaranteed to get exercise at least 4 times a week. 2 x training, the Saturday game and a muck around on Sunday. This is not as big an issue for K as he is a pretty active kid and goes through a pair of expensive school shoes every term from all of his running around and is as fit as a fiddle. J on the other hand could wear the same pair of school shoes 3 years running if he didn’t grow out of them. His weight fluctuates yearly with the soccer season, so this exercise business is pretty important for him.
I love the friendships I have made with some of the other soccer mums and dads. This year in particular I have met some lovely mums, with whom I have exchanged numbers and can foresee a long friendship forming. It is so great to sit among other proud parents all cheering on our boys. Kids need to know that they have people in their corner and there is no shortage of encouragement with our team.
I love the team spirit. I think it is wonderful to hear the players calling out words of encouragement during the game when someone needs it most. Perhaps the goalie has just let one in, or the striker totally missed a shot or someone did a hand ball. The chorus of, ‘never mind’, ‘it’s all good’ and ‘oopps!’ from the other players and families alike is enough to warm your heart.
There is however a downside to being a soccer mum, or a any-sport-mum, or just a mum in general I guess. And that is the ache you feel in your chest when your children get slaughtered week in, week out.
To D and I, winning or losing does not matter one iota. I have explained why playing a sport is important to us – teamwork, exercise, fun. That being said though, it is pretty hard to watch your kids losing all the time. I have to really give our team credit, they cope with loss well and always turn up to play ready to give it their all. They try really hard and have improved a gazillion since the start of the season.
I feel bad for our team. They have been playing a losing battle right from the start this year. The under 13 team was short of players and the under 12s had a big team, so our club did a grading and took our good players and left us with the kinda goofy, noobies and sporting misfits. We are the Glee Club of soccer teams. It is sad for the kids because with out some of those better players there was no-one left to mentor our ‘less skilled’ kids.
Some of the the parents voiced their concerns at the start of the season when it became pretty apparent that our kids were getting smashed in every game. And I’m not talking about a 7-3 loss or anything respectable like that I am talking 26 – 0 spankings. We were assured that all the teams would be graded fairly and would only be playing other division 4 teams.
Well, it seems that there was quite a disparity between what some consider a division 4 team should play like! Some teams we played were matched well for our skill set and we actually scored a few goals here and there. Hell, we even won 2 games! Other teams were just fucking excellent. We had no chance.
You can see the point in the game that the kids just give up. They loss the spring in their step, the shoulders slump and they start kicking the grass. They get to the point where they think, what’s the point. This is the hardest part of being a soccer mum. Seeing the defeat in your baby’s eyes. Your heart breaks for them and you wish they could score just one measly little goal. You wish that that giant of a kid on the other team who looks like he needs to shave would come down with a sudden illness or that monster who can bend it like Beckham would trip over his shoelaces. Is that evil of me?
All that aside, K and J have had a good year.
In previous years, J has been more of a timid player, a little scared of the ball still. He was pretty content to let the better players of the team do all the work while he slowly trotted up and down the field. This year, with those players gone he has come into his own and actually stepped it up. He no longer avoids the ball, or puts his hands up to shield his face when it comes to him but chases it and has found that he is a valuable team member and perhaps one of the stronger players.
K has been the goalie for his team the last 2 years. He is a very skilled goalie. That kid is not afraid to dive and leap onto the ball and is known for his daredevil tactics. He has the mad skills. However, he is also VERY self critical and takes any balls that get through very hard. To the point where he would literally kick himself and pull his hat down so no-one could see him cry. This year we managed to talk him out of going for the position of goalie. While he is good, he is also the smallest member on the teams and this year they are playing with full size goals. Meaning, more are going to get in. Physically he just couldn’t save them all. It took him a while to find his feet on the field, but eventually he became more and more confident and is now enjoying the experience much more. Success.
Today was the last game of the season. I only wish that K could have scored just one goal. The last 2 years in a row, J scored a goal in the last game of the season. We wondered if he would pull it off again today but turns out he caught a cold and stayed home. Anyway, none of our team scored today, we got pummeled 😦 Poor lads. I am terribly proud of them though, they kept their chins up and played as hard as they could, right until the whistle blew. Well done team on another fun season.
Thank you Jacob’s dad for the awesome photos of K and J. I have total camera envy right now.
Big apologies for the unfunnyness of this post. I realise it is not my usual fare, but it is my blog and my life and today it was all about the soccer 🙂 so suck it up princesses and quit your moaning.