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Kinder Soccer

This spring, we registered Alex for Kinder Soccer (Age 4-ish). I had really been targeting activities for her that would keep her moving, since she's such a spirited little one. I had figured that soccer would be a good fit for her, because of all the running involved. I did not consider the team aspect though.

The first class was... let's just say it was a disaster. It started out fine - she enjoyed running and kicking the ball. The problems started when they actually divided into teams to play something resembling a game.

Alex would run up to the ball, get ready to kick it, and then some other kid would steal the ball away from her. That's when the water-works started.

"Mommy! She's not sharing! She's not letting me have my turn!"

And then later on:

"They don't want to be my friend, they aren't sharing the ball."

My heart just about broke when I heard that.

Further complicating the issue, there were a couple of little kids out there who actually knew what they were doing, and this caused some problems - they would come up to the ball, steal it away, but then wouldn't actually pass it. It was a total clusterfuck.

I mean, I was expecting problems like not knowing where out of bounds are, and not knowing which goal was the one to shoot at... things like that. I did not at all appreciate that actually playing the game contradicted those values that we'd worked so hard to instill in her.

The next few classes were equally as painful. Fortunately though, Jason has been working really hard with her, to try to help her understand that it's just part of the game - it's not personal. He's doing this by providing a running commentary, suitable for a pre-schooler, during the hockey playoffs. It's pretty cute, but it's definitely worked.

Today, Alex played soccer, and there were no tears. Not only that, but she enjoyed herself, and she scored her first goal.


( 14 comments — Leave a comment )
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:54 am (UTC)
Don't most team sports do that, though? You sort of just have to teach kids the difference between being competitive and being mean. Which is, admittedly, a difficult thing for little ones to grasp.

Football = hitting people. Basketball/hockey/soccer = taking things away from other people.

Baseball involves throwing stuff at people, but children Bug's age would be more likely to play tee ball, which is way more fun anyway. (Especially if you play the game where you put your hand on top of the tee and your head on top of your hand and then you walk around in a circle a bajillion times and then try to hit the ball off the tee, oh it is hilarious.)
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 2nd, 2010 12:18 pm (UTC)
Obviously I'm not a parent, but I feel like if you're worried about Bug having problems grasping two sets of social rules, you might not want to put him into a sport where stealing and/or hitting is the norm.

Tee ball is my first thought, but I can't help thinking that a karate class might be awesome for Bug.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
I totally plan on putting Alex in martial arts. I was advised though, to wait until age 5 or 6 before putting her in.
(Deleted comment)
Jun. 3rd, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
I think it has to do with both their level of coordination as well as their ability to listen and follow directions. Gymnastics, soccer - those are more unrestricted movements, but in martial arts there's a whole lot of standing still and not moving in between movements.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:53 pm (UTC)
No no! We never suggest hitting or fighting (aka hockey) - we call that crashing. That`s when they crash into each other :P
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:52 pm (UTC)
Yeah, I didn`t realize how many things in real life, actually contradict themselves, but sports and competition is definitely one of those things.

Although it`s not entirely a contradiction - it just requires further explanation that another set of rules apply under certain circumstances.
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:47 am (UTC)
Sounds like the coordinators of that progam have their work cut out for them! I bet that once the kids all get the hang of it, it will be hilarious to watch. I can't imagine four year olds playing soccer.

Yay Alex!!
Jun. 2nd, 2010 11:54 pm (UTC)
Hehe it`s definitely pretty funny!
Jun. 2nd, 2010 04:26 pm (UTC)
Jun. 3rd, 2010 05:44 am (UTC)
Jun. 4th, 2010 07:22 am (UTC)
So what kinds of activities do you think Chloe would likeÉ

Oh crap. I don`t know how to turn off that function on my keyboard so I can have my question mark back again...
Jun. 4th, 2010 07:42 am (UTC)
Chloe goes to this preschool preschool called elf once a week, they play games, paint, dance and sing.
She seems to be really good at remembering lyrics and motions to the songs they all sing.
She looooves dancing and running and jumping.
She likes to be in control of the situation and doesn't quite get it when I don't always follow her commands, or other kids but usually once she gets that she's not the boss of the world she follows along in play and games quite well with the boys.
Think they are planning on putting her in swimming and I would imagine she would be really into that as she loves water in any form and seems determined to drag me into it. ;)

Jun. 3rd, 2010 02:45 pm (UTC)
Yay, so glad to read the end of this entry. I can't imagine trying to teach organized sports to my four year old. I think she needs another year or so before she'll be able to handle it. We're sticking to more individual activities now like swimming and dance.
Jun. 4th, 2010 07:22 am (UTC)
Yeah, the term organized is pretty loose!
( 14 comments — Leave a comment )

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