Friday, September 18, 2009

On Watching Five-Year-Olds Play Soccer

Watching five-year-olds play soccer is good for the soul.

The Girl has spent the last several years watching her older brother play sports. She has played some in the backyard with us, but hasn't had teams of her own until now.

You wouldn't know it.

This past weekend, she had her first games.

Admittedly, she and her teammates haven't quite worked out some of the kinks yet. Other than the goalie, they don't really play 'positions' as they're usually understood. Instead, they cluster around the ball, moving en masse like a swarm of bees. Teammates steal the ball from each other, passing is entirely accidental, and every so often some kid will simply stand still while the ball rolls right past him.

That said, she has the 'competition' concept down pat. Right before what my American mind calls the kickoff, as she stood directly opposite her counterpart on the other team, she raised her hands to her head, made claw shapes, and growled at the poor kid. Loudly.

The kid didn't react, but TW and I were in stitches.

She cut quite a figure in her shinguards, soccer socks, cleats, and bouncing ponytail. The total effect was somewhere between Strawberry Shortcake and a bouncer. It said "yes, I'm cute, now get the &*(*^%!@ out of my way." Which, now that I think about it, is a pretty good way to go through life.

No more mere cheering from the sidelines. TG is in the game.