Children and soccer

Today was a nice clear day in Southern California for soccer. My four year old son was running through the house with his six year old brother shooting one another with Nerf guns. The time came near for my four year old's first AYSO soccer game this season. I helped him put on his new uniform, tucked it in and he was ready to go. I asked my son how many goals he thinks he will score today and he held up three fingers with confidence. So, as we arrive to the park for the game, he complains that his shin guards are hurting. I correct the issue by padding it with his socks. He then runs on the field to join his team. As the team sets up and prepares for play one of his teammates is spinning around for no apparent reason (probably the four year old DNA make up) and hits my son in the forehead. Of course, mine acts as if he was bleeding and he was in need of medical attention or some kind of attention. As my wife and I sat on the sidelines, the coach leans over to him and says something. My son nods his head and the game begins but we could tell it was going to be a long 30 minute game!

From the kickoff you could tell something was wrong. A typical soccer day for my son is always chasing the ball and working towards scoring goals or passing to teammates. Don't get me wrong, I do understand and I explain to both my boys to expect good games and bad games, but the overall goal is to have pure fun. With that in mind, he fell every time he put his foot on the ball and with each fall he was on the brink of crying. With great knowledge of my child, I knew once he was bumped on his forehead that this would dictate his game play. Overall, he received my high fives and cheers for playing the entire game. I was still proud of him and he knew it. I'm sure this happens to many children and I am not the only parent that has had this experience. This is not the first time this has happened and I'm sure it will not be the last time.

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