I'm coaching, I'm a coach...

We had our first soccer game today. We, being the "chocolate" colored team that my daughter Kami plays on that I agreed to coach. That's right, chocolate. Isn't there a chick flick with that title? All the other teams were traditional colors like green and red and blue, but we are named after a dessert!

We huddled as a team before the game and on the count of three said, "go chocolate!"...I felt sheepish to utter those words...almost shameful. But alas, that is who we are...we have the brown t-shirts to prove it. That's right...brown. Why couldn't we be called brown? I suppose it's got something to do with being politically correct. I'm sure the white team was called something like vanilla or something. "What could brown do for you?" Alot. Alot for the fragile pschological state of our players. Alot.

But, be that as it may, we are good. Good chocolates. We won 2-0. We have some raw talent on our squad. Some "playa's" as they say in the hood. Some 7 and 8 year olds that can run like the wind and desend on the ball like a hurricane. It's so funny to watch them competing. For some of them, this is the first time they have been given permission to "not be nice" to someone else. They are allowed to take the ball from the other team, to fight for position, to bang around in a pack of persons. They are encouraged to be aggresive and to want to beat the other human beings on the other side of the line. They are applauded when they humiliate the other team with a well stuck ball resulting in a goal. They are given high fives when they out-hustle, out-wit, and out-last their opponents.

And, at first, they don't know what to do with this new-found liberation from civil rules of engagement. But as they warm up to the idea of competition, you can tell they feel loosed like a caged lion, liberated to test the wild side of his/her nature. They smile with the grin of guilty pleasure. It's a beautiful thing.

Kami played well, kicking the ball with fierce concentration. She's not so much of an offender quite yet, she likes to settle back as a stopper and strike when the opponent can almost taste a goal. Just when it seems to be too late, she sweeps in and comes to the rescue. It's a thing of beauty. She hops around with phantom movements as she watches her offense manuever around the opponents net. Hopping and skipping and moving her limbs almost like she was the one doing it, all the while enjoying the peace and relative serenity of her own quiet and peaceable penalty area. We need to throw her to the lions a little more in the weeks to come, but for now, she's just getting the taste of blood...the time will come when she will become the revenous wolf her dad was on the soccer field. Just you wait. It's latently flowing in her veins. The sleeping giant will awaken soon.

Aly was playing on the field next to Kami's. She has developed a new form of soccer that only can be described as "Dainty". She prances to and fro like a little fawn in a field of dandylions. The coolest thing was that she scored a goal! Her first game. She didn't even practice with the team earlier this week. She had never, ever practiced before and she put one in the net. Now, mind you, it was a danty goal. It wasn't plastered into the upper 90, it was delicately nugged toward a vacant space and tenderly rolled across the line. Imagine a Barbie kicking it into a goal and you'll be pretty close to picturing the scene. She was overjoyed by this remarkable accomplishment. Several times, however, she was standing over by the sidelines looking off into the distance daydreaming. I would shout out, "Aly, go get the ball" and she would snap to her senses and prance back over to the pack of ball-chasers. She would join this glob of gadabouts moving around the field like a dragonfly over a pond. I'm proud as could be of her valient effort. It was somewhat of a breakthrough for her.

I love both of my soccer player babies. I'm more proud of them than I could ever express in writing. You just had to be there in many ways...but hopefully this little writing takes you there enough to get a little picture of the beautiful world in which I live. I wouldn't trade it for anything.


Jody said…
Good luck to all the little 'chocolate players'. Enjoy this time in their lives...no matter what 'flavor' they are! =)
David Cortner said…
Wish we could have been there watch!
mama2dibs said…
I miss soccer so much!

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