Monday, September 14, 2009

Soccer's in full swing

I am amazed at the amount of growth we have seen in Zach through soccer. This time last year, we'd just signed Zach up for his third basketball clinic. He always asked to play basketball, but never really thrived on the court. When the fall clinic started last year, Zach was -- NO JOKE -- rolling around on the court floor with his tongue out. He wasn't paying attention at all and we just did not understand why he'd ask to play and then roll around instead of participate! After struggling through two weeks at basketball, I asked the director of his school if she suspected any attention deficit concerns. She sat down with me and expressed that she had absolutely no concerns about his ability to focus, and that her experience was that he didn't care for the repetition of practice or the need to rely on a team to do anything. Her assessment was that he may very well never desire to play a team sport. I knew that the news was not catastrophic, but it kinda felt that way at first. Being a college baseball player who'd once had his sights set on playing in the Majors, Bryan had looked forward to playing ball with the kids since the moment we first heard "it's a boy". How would he take the news that Zach might never really want to play team sports? After talking for a couple of days (and talking with Zach), we decided to pull him out of basketball and follow Zach's lead. Perhaps a more individualized sport like swimming or track would be his thing, but we'd let him decide. Maybe he wouldn't like sports at all.

In early March '09, the boys and I had lunch with Bryan's cousin's daughter. She's in her early 20s, newly married, and was a high school soccer player. She and I talked about her love of soccer, not realizing that Zach was hanging on our every word. After Amanda left, Zach asked if he could play soccer. Although we'd missed registration by six weeks, the soccer club managed to find a spot for him. HE. LOVES. IT.

Zach did not have an aggressive or competitive bone in his body until he started playing soccer. One spring season, two summer camps and two weeks into this season... and LOOK WHAT HE'S DOING on the field! (Number 16 in green)

Quick pep talk with Coach before the game
Zach's got the ball
He scores his first goal of the season
And grins ear-to-ear as the other coach gets "his" ball back out of the goal
For such a tall guy, he's pretty fast
Coach in training?
Did I mention that Bryan is coaching Zach's team this season? Bryan is awesome. He takes time each week to plan a game strategy that will grow every player's abilities, confidence and enjoyment. And Bryan loves coaching soccer. His old baseball buddies wouldn't recognize him!

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