Kicking off our second season of soccer!
A lot of you have been asking for an update on the girls and their first two seasons of soccer. Throughout the past year and a half, we have explored various activities and sports through our weekly Facebook Show, the Discovery Twins. In doing this, one of the things that the girls “discovered” was how much they enjoy soccer. Throughout the first season, they aimlessly fluttered around the field. Their team name was the “Bobcats” but we called them the “Bumblebees” because they just followed each other, aimlessly, regardless of who had the ball. And if one had it, they all would chase it. Literally no strategy involved. All fun and good being that it was their first real exposure to team sports and trying soccer, but thankfully we are now in our second season.
Throughout last year, as you can see in our first season of Discovery Twins below, I coached them.
EP12: Soccer! The girls are introduced to soccer – Dad is the coach! They learn it's not about winning, but having fun…and looking cute in their uniforms. lol
Posted by Discovery Twins on Friday, November 17, 2017
It was basically a conglomerate of preschoolers running around haphazardly but hey, they were meeting new friends? They were right on track with their peers, so we weren’t worried, but coaching them kept my hands FULL. I wouldn’t say that at that point it was truly soccer, but more so a pile of children chasing a black and white ball, in theory toward a goal but not always sure which one. They might as well have been a wolf pack, rather than a true team. While I coached, the organizational level of things mirrored their short attention spans and ability to take and respond to directions. And yet, things were no different on the “opposing team.” I use opposing loosely as I’m not sure their team always absorbed that the differently colored jerseys meant something. It was more in one ear, out the other. Oh to be four! Most people in the sports community don’t want kids to specialize in one sport until high school, so we were definitely not feeling the pressure. Ha!
Nonetheless, the girls had a blast and asked to do soccer again, which is the current season we are in now. While they had no idea that what they were “playing” least year could only loosely be defined as a sport, this year I felt they were developmentally ready to actually learn the skills of soccer. In order to set up the girls for as much success as possible, we wanted to give them a head start. I particularly wanted to eliminate any outside factors that may intimidate or distract them. Being that these early team sports lay the foundation for a child’s enthusiasm for athletics and lifelong fitness, just as kindergarten informs the rest of their academic experiences, we wanted them to be given as much opportunity as possible to THRIVE. The difference between their fourth and fifth year of life has amazed us! Combining this with now knowing what to expect, we knew that they were ready for a bit of a “pre-season” with me (Dad). LOL.
And so, this very, very informal pre-season was really more like kicking the ball around with dad, although they did learn to dribble and we ran drills. This has helped them become more and more self-assured so that they can now really focus on what their coach wants them to do and respond to direction. I’m sure you all can relate to being nervous or unconfident about something and how much it clouds your ability to concentrate, learn and connect.
Throughout these three weeks, they grew tremendously. Beyond the new skills that they learned, improving with time and practice has been a huge confidence boost for them. As many of you know, I’m a pretty tough dad but at the same time, they are innocent and we want them to experience anything that they might be nervous about within the shelter of home first. Last year, they were unsure of what would happen if they fell while trying to kick the ball; would they be made fun of or would somebody be upset? And so, we actually practiced falling down, getting right back up and recovering smoothly, just like we learned while ice skating for the first time, during our Discovery Twins episode at the ice rink.
All their hard work (and fun) paid off during the first game in which they both scored TWO goals whereas their old little “bumblebee” selves didn’t score one throughout the entirety of last season. What a difference a year makes! That really boosted their confidence — and between that and their growth spurt and maturity, it’s night and day comparing the two seasons. As you can see from their faces in these pictures, the self-assuredness, focus and strategy they show are written all over their little faces and they are really going after their goals, literally. This makes our jobs as their cheerleaders even more fun!
Spending that 1-on-1 time with them is something I will always treasure, whether they become little Mia Hamms or not. Life goes by so quickly and someday they may not want to learn from me. I’ll share more about some of the conversations we had and what I hope they learned but for now, I’ll remember those three weeks fondly and hope that they do too!