Monday, March 26, 2012

Sooby in Shin Guards

Sooby met her first day of soccer practice with considerable apprehension.  "I will never be able to kick the ball that high," she lamented.  "It's just too far."  Turns out, she was imagining a field with basketball goals at each end.  She knew it was against the rules to use her hands, and she just couldn't imagine booting a ball high enough to make a basket.

Soccer is a game we know well in this family.  Son Teebo began playing when he was seven and pretty much dribbled his way through his childhood years and into four years of high school and traveling ball.  Generally his job was to sweep the backfield, the final line of defense before the goalie.  It was a position he relished for its crashes and clashes and overall general mayhem.  Hopefully, Sooby and her four-to-six-year-old teammates won't display this level of competitive killer instinct.

Taught judiciously in the early years, the game of soccer, it would seem, offers some important life lessons.  Here are the ones I hope Sooby learns, at least for now:
  1. Run through the grass every chance you get.
  2. If you get tired, sit on the bench for a while.
  3. Keep your hands where they're supposed to be.
  4. Keep the ball under control.
  5. If you get in a bind, pass the ball off to a teammate.
  6. If your teammate gets in trouble, help her out.
  7. Watch for loose balls: these are opportunities.
  8. Keep an eye on the goal ahead; try not to get sidetracked.
  9. If you miss your goal, try again.  It is hard to hit for a reason.
  10. Adapt your strategy when others try to keep you from making your goal.
  11. Remember to use your head.
  12. Try not to trip anyone.
  13. If you fall down, get back up.
  14. If you get dirty, don't worry; mud washes off.
  15. Stop when you hear a whistle.
  16. Yellow and red cards may be pretty, but try to pass them up.
  17. Don't kick anyone on purpose, especially people dressed like zebras.
These are lessons that, with only slight modifications, should serve little soccer players well as they begin their school years.  I am looking forward to watching Sooby run carefree down the field in her little red shin guards.  If she happens to do that with a ball in the immediate vicinity, then all the better.  


  1. I bet your face hurts from smiling after watching one of her games! I bet they are just wonderful to watch.

  2. Oh I love this one! Kids games are so much fun. I miss going and look forward to my grand kids playing. I think I'm going to print out the rules and use them in life and definitely want to teach them to the kids. Really good, thanks for linking with me.