Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Be aggressive

My daughter won--no, received--a completely undeserved trophy for her "participation" on a youth soccer league this year. I know I sound like a horrible mother for scare-quoting my own daughter, but you weren't there to strap the shinguards on a wailing kindergartner and to give 95 versions of the same speech: "We signed up, we have to go.... Do it for the team! ...You don't have to be perfect--just try your hardest... Your goal should be to try to kick the ball two times today.... If you stop screaming and kicking me, you'll get a juicebox at the end of the game." Her best was to sit on the sidelines and cheer on her friends. I signed up only because she begged me, and I would have been perfectly happy to have the only child who never kicked the ball on the team. (She did kick it once during the last game. It floored me.) The lack of aggression didn't bother me; it was her complete antipathy that was difficult. It got so bad that I just started calling her the "goalie" in a division that isn't supposed to have goalies. It was the only way I could justify her standing in one place the whole time.

Although soccer seems to be a rite of passage in our small SoCal town (even I played 4 years as a kid), I'm not saddened that she won't be joining a team next year. For someone who loves competition, I am appalled by the behavior of a few vocal parents, overzealous coaches yelling at children, and this YouTube video:

That said, I am wholeheartedly in favor of excessive aggression when it involves a quadriplegic. Not kidding. This is rugby in raw form.


Blogger Daniel Hoffmann-Gill said...

I love that vid, it's intense stuff that, pretty nasty but that's football sometimes, an attitude can sweep the players and I do like a bit of rough and tumble.

3:32 AM  
Blogger James said...

My nephew started herdball, er, I mean kindergarten soccer this past summer. It was a riot to watch. He had fun and as only one of 2 English speaking kids on the team, probably picked up a little Spanish as well.

5:05 PM  

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