Thursday, September 22, 2011

"Organized" Sports

Please note the quotation marks in the title. I use the term "organized" very loosely because we are talking about 3 and 4 year olds and even those without children know that nothing in their lives is organized or planned.

I decided to sign the triplets up for soccer this fall. I actually thought long and hard about doing this. I'm really trying to be cognizant of not pushing them into things (sports, music, etc.) too early. So many people do that nowadays and I feel like kids just rarely have a chance to just play and be kids. I feel like forcing them into extracurriculars too early could really do more harm than good with things like early burnout and turning them off from something they would have loved if we had just waited until the appropriate time to introduce it. Plus, we've got four kids ... which means cha-ching when it comes to financing all these activities.

So I know what you're thinking ... Ummmm, but you DID sign them up for a sport despite all your soap boxing above. Yes, yes, you're right. But hear me out. I chose to do this program because 1) the kids wanted to do it, 2) it only requires a commitment of one hour a week, and 3) it's really just a learning program as opposed to any type of organized team activity. The kids all have a ball the entire practice and they rotate around to stations and play soccer "games" like tag and red light, green light. The point is to get the child comfortable with the ball and the sport. There are no actual games of one team versus another. So we don't have to deal with any winning or losing discussions / meltdowns / cry fests. Don't get me wrong, I have NO problem with teaching winning and losing. It is an important lessons that my kids will all learn when they are the appropriate age. Age three is NOT that age. They can barely control their displeasure when I tell them they can't have a second cookie, so I don't think they'd comprehend, much less internalize, the whole winning / losing thing.

So, we're on week three of soccer and so far it's going great. They have really improved at things like listening to the coach and not coming over to me for a water break every two minutes (it's the little things, right?). I think they're getting the hang of the sport a bit, but who's to say? All I know is that Sam only kick-whiffed his soccer ball four times this week instead of nine times ... I'd call that improvement!

And now for the photo evidence ...

Listening to Coach


The "whiff" in action


The not-quite-old-enough spectator

As with most things, I have no idea what is happening here.

We've had a good experience so far, which I hope continues. We'll have to see how that first cold weather practice goes to see how gung-ho they really are. For now, it's been just what I was looking for as the kids seem to be learning a little bit while also having fun.

In the end, I'm just glad none of my children were this kid ...

I'm sure he's a sweetie, but I'm thinking soccer may not be holding his interest at this stage!

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