We put him in gymnastics; he liked it.
|Such a tough little man!|
We put him in karate; he liked it.
|He wanted tackle, but flag would have to do.|
We put him in flag football; he liked it.
We put him in soccer; he LOVED it.
Ahhhh, finally! He found his passion.
A local Lutheran church's hosted an Upward Soccer League. The league is designed to reach out to the community through sports and to evangelize the kids & parents. It's a great idea, reminds me of CYO sports in the Catholic Church.
After the first season though, we realized this league was not a good fit for him. He dominated when he played scoring goal after goal and more than one kid was injured when they ran into the brick wall that was Junior on defense. He played a much more aggressive brand of soccer than they wanted and the parents complained loudly that our kid didn't belong.
|Sideline cuties ready to cheer for big brother!|
Last fall, after a great season and as a reward for an excellent report card we took him to a private soccer coach for a 1-on-1 90-minute session. The coach worked with Junior on technical skills and Junior absolutely loved it. We decided to allow him to work with this particular coach up to twice a month to improve his technical skills and get a little more finesse to his play (it's expensive and we aren't made of money!). We also let him do another "development league" over the summer to keep him active and learning.
In his last game of the Spring season, the opposing parent-coach directed his team to go after Junior during the match. My inner Mama Bear rose up. My kid was shoved, kicked and knocked to the ground repeatedly with no penalties called. Finally, the referee blew his whistle motioning that my son was getting the penalty after he was knocked down in a particularly nasty and on-purpose way. My husband had to physically restrain me from rushing the field. My loud mouth could not be restrained though and the referee corrected his mistake quickly. I told my husband when he let me go that if my child was fouled again, I would be out there and he wouldn't be able to stop me - and we were not coming back to this league again anyhow.
We had been toying with the idea of letting him try out for a club (travel soccer), but this past Spring season cemented that decision. His private coach helped us find a club that would be a good fit for Junior and made contact with the coach for his age group. We had the opportunity to take Junior to train with them for the last few weeks of their season. Finally over Father's Day weekend, Junior tried out for the Club and made one of their teams.
And so begins our adventures with Club Soccer/Travel Soccer.
I'll blog about our experience as we go through this year: the good, the bad, the ups & the downs. I'll tell you everything. I'll give you a blunt perspective of travel soccer; letting you in on the secrets as I learn them. This will be fun (I keep telling myself), eye-opening (and how!), and hopefully helpful to other parents considering making a move to a travel sport for their own child.