What We Learned from Soccer


As I mentioned before, Drew took part in a five-week soccer league through our local community ed. It was seriously SO fun for the entire family and I can’t wait for more experiences like this. I was struck by how much I could learn and observe about Drew through this experience. So, please enjoy this little video, and the five things we learned from soccer this spring.


1. Keep it simple, and Drew will nail it.

Knowing that Drew would be a bit nervous in such a new environment–especially with an activity where he lacks confidence–I was very thoughtful when we talked about soccer. I did as much as I could to describe what it would be like and I gave him just one “rule.” (He kind of loves rules, especially when he can remind others to follow them!) His rule was “Listen to Coach Mark. That’s it. That’s all you need to worry about. If you are listening to your coach, then you’re doing a great job.” I knew this would set him up for success and would make it easier for him to try new skills. This was a great strategy for us because Drew reported back after each game with a smile: “I listened to Coach Mark!”

2. What you lack in stature you can make up for in tattoos.

There’s a picture in the video linked above that says a thousand words about our sweet boy’s personality. Specifically, note the puppy and kitten tattoos. :)

3. His best qualities–his intelligence and his sensitivity–were magnified on the field.

On the day of the last game, Drew was enjoying his budding friendship with his teammate Wyatt. While we waited for practice to begin, they had started to play tag when Wyatt tripped and fell. I watched as Drew sped away from his friend on the ground. I leaned in and reminded him that it’s kind to check on a friend who got hurt, even when it’s not your fault. Drew spent the rest of that practice and game crouching over every fallen child on both teams. This is a full-time job with preschoolers as they fell often on the uneven lawn. My reminder to Drew ultimately   served as a major distraction, my heart is full knowing that he cares about the people around him.

4. That child is observant as hell.

Drew is able to catalog, synthesize, and report back on basically everything that happens during a game. You might imagine that preschoolers would be living in the moment, but it seems to be more of a “soaking up the moment” effort, as he remembers every push or shove, every failed shot on goal. He immediately understands without any acknowledgment or signal from grown-ups that he’s a bit slower than the other kids. It all seems to feed his perfectionism, so our job as his parents really becomes that of a cheerleader.

5. Sometimes your big brother’s soccer league is an opportunity for you.

Owen learned about the world of patience required for an active little boy to observe dozens of soccer balls flying around without joining in. He also performed the task of ‘water boy’ beautifully and on several occasions enjoyed the attentions of his grandparents and parents on the sidelines. Love the picture (in the video) of an upside down monkey in his Grandma Barb’s lap at the end of the last game.

Next up for this summer? T-ball!

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