The day after Ginger's first soccer game, it was time for Bud to play. I have been looking forward to this day for ages. I am so glad that he is finally old enough to play! Since Bud isn't really big or tall, I have always considered soccer to be the sport at which he might excel. Now is the time to find out. Or get an inkling, at least.
The great thing about the 4 and 5 year old program is that they spend the first half of the hour practicing and the second half playing a game. It's so nice not to have to set aside an extra evening for practice-- not that they have the attention span for a very long practice anyway.
I coached this age once-- back before they combined the practice and game on the same night. You won't believe how hard it is to fill a full hour of practice when your team only has a 2 minute attention span. Let's just say that we did a lot of the run-to-that-tree-way-over-there drill. Eventually I convinced the parents that a 30 minute practice would more than suffice, although all weren't happy about making the effort to get there for such a short amount of time. Really, I was just happy if I could get the kids to run in the right direction during the game. The rest could come later.
Anyway, Bud's team spent half an hour at the beginning running drills and learning a few basics about the game. So, at first there was a lot of standing around interspersed with running and kicking the ball.
And, for Bud, it was interspersed with a lot of scratching. The new, unwashed jersey he received at the start was making his eczema act up something fierce.
Here he is getting some one-on-one instruction from his coach while he scratches:
Group instruction from his coach while he scratches:
You would not believe how many photos I have of him scratching, the poor kid. Luckily, once the game started, his itching was forgotten. From that point on it was all about the game!
As it should be.
After the initial kick-off, Bud jumped right in. I couldn't believe my eyes! I mean, look at the way he's using his body to block out the girl behind him, thus denying her access to the ball. No one taught him to do that, you know. That's just soccer instinct kicking in right there, folks! Awesome!
Look at him go for the ball! He looks like a real, live soccer player!
Even when he wasn't in the group with the ball, Bud stayed on the move. Just like you're supposed to do.
At the end of the game I congratulated him on a job well done, to which he replied, "I didn't just stand there." I guess he picked up a thing or two at Ginger's game the day before. Way to go, Bud!