Anna's Soccer Season Spring 2014

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The Soccer Chocolate Kittens first season came to a close a few weeks ago.

And man it was so fun.

This was Anna's first real soccer experience. She was on a team with other Pre-K girls from her school and they were in league comprised mainly of Kindergarten teams (meaning they were usually a little smaller and a little less coordinated/experienced than their competition). They played half-field, 3 on 3 matches - they had 6, 5 minute matches each game if I remember correctly.

At the team celebration dinner Coach Sid had this to say about Anna:

"This girl was the most creative player. She created a new move, the back kick, introduced all of us to the concept of a dog pile, and she was the best grass-eater on the team."

That's my girl!

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From the first practice to the last game it was so fun to watch this group of girls learn about teamwork and friendship and some of the basic fundamentals of soccer.

Coach Sid (a parent of twin girls on the team) was awesome. One of the first things he did was teach the girls the concept of "tank full." He would ask them, and they would ask each other, "Is your tank full?" If the answer was no they would give each other positive praise. It was such a great way to build each other up.

He was also the kind of coach that went up to each girl after the game and said something positive about their experience and told him he was so proud of them.

Needless to say I don't think I'm alone in hoping he will volunteer again in the fall.

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And she loved it.

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Soccer at this level is really all about the basics. They learned so much from their first time on the field where they really had no clue what was happening to a few games in when things finally started to click.

I yelled "go to the ball" a lot.

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I loved the chance to better get to know some of the other parents of the girl's in Anna's grade (there are two Pre-K classes at her school). I imagine, unless something changes drastically, that most of these girls will continue at this school until 8th grade.

It already feels like family.

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Seeing that photo made me think of this one:

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That's me in 1984 (age 8 or 9).

And yes, I know I look like a boy.

I played competitive elite soccer starting around age 6 (I think) until about age 12 or 13 (junior high) when I needed to decide between swimming or soccer because both of them occurred during the same season in high school. I went with swimming.

Soccer and all that went into being on a competitive team was a big part of those growing up years for me and I really liked it. Practices in the cold and rain (it's the Northwest of course), weekend travel all around the state, tournaments in the summer heat.

So many good lessons learned playing soccer.

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Simon had his own learning experiences over the course of Anna's soccer season - most especially about how to be a good sideline friend. There was a lot of talk about how we cheer for the girls. We support them even when they miss a goal (vs. getting angry that they missed).

Sometimes we took a little walk with him to the car to take a break when he was feeling extra frustrated by their lack of skills. It was a good time for him to practice his own skills and he did get progressively better by the end of the short season.

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We also captured the moment when we could all plainly see that Simon is now taller than Katie.

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In April I posted this photo of oranges on Instagram with the caption, "Soccer mom!!!!!! I'm on orange duty for the Soccer Chocolate Kittens game tomorrow morning."

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Katie captured my personal excitement about getting the chance to cut up those oranges for the half-time snack. Told you I was excited about those oranges.

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There were definitely times when she wasn't into it but when she finally scored her first goal and got a taste for what that feels like she was all over it.

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One of the special things parents and supporters in this league do at the end of each game is a tunnel for the kids to run through after they've given the other team a high five and gone through the "good-game" line.

I think the tunnel is quite possibly their favorite part, next to the snack at the end of the game of course.

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I'm hoping this is the start of many more athletic adventures to come because Anna, I love watching you play.

Go, Anna go!

PS | And in case you haven't read that awesome post about the Six Words You Should Say Today by Hands Free Mama I highly recommend it.

30 thoughts

  1. kelly libby

    2014-06-05 13:51:21 +0100

    Wonderful photos!!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  2. jengd

    2014-06-05 14:40:54 +0100

    It looks like a it was a fabulous experience for everyone! Congrats on a great season!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  3. Christine

    2014-06-05 14:54:39 +0100

    I love to read what you write. My daughter, like Anna, stated playing soccer at this age and hasn't missed a year since. She is now 16 and in her second to the last year of club play. Yes, we yelled "run to the ball" many other phrases over the years. Welcome to the world of being a soccer mom. I look forward to Anna's season next year.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  4. Kathleen

    2014-06-05 14:57:24 +0100

    This brings back so many great memories! I played competitive soccer all my life and into college. I had forgotten about the tunnel though! That was awesome! My dad coached me when I was younger and we talk about coaching my kids one day. My daughter is about to turn three so I'm hoping in a few more years she'll be interested!

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  5. Cathy L.

    2014-06-05 14:57:37 +0100

    Brings back fun memories of when my daughter played soccer in kindergarten! Her favorite part then was also the parent tunnel at the end. She is now in seventh grade. My husband and I tried to bring the tunnel back at one of her games this year - needless to say she pretended she didn't know us!

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  6. Jo-Anne

    2014-06-05 15:11:01 +0100

    Oh Gosh - how cute is this Anna?

    GO ANNA GO!!

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  7. Taylor

    2014-06-05 16:05:51 +0100

    Little ones playing soccer at that age is my absolute favorite! I love going to see my five-year-old sister play a game. She's usually the one picking dandelions from the field. haha!

    xoxo
    Taylor

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  8. Amberca

    2014-06-05 17:10:52 +0100

    Totally awesome! I'm right there with you. I've been watching my girls play soccer for years (now they are 17 and 15) and I still love to watch them play. But when they are little it just seems like all the little moments are more praised and more special, like halftime snacks and the scoring of their first goal. Even meeting the parents on the sidelines is more unique. I miss those times. Now it's super competitive and the team members come with a whole lot of 'attitude.' Good luck to Anna, and I hope you enjoy every minute of her team sport endeavors.

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  9. Jennie

    2014-06-05 17:17:01 +0100

    I used to call beginning soccer "cluster ball" cause the kids would always cluster around the ball. And since we'd been teaching them to share, they'd each wait their turn to kick. Great memories of my now 30-year- old son. Thanks.

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  10. Addie

    2014-06-05 17:38:07 +0100

    Great post, looks like so much fun! And I just love their team name!

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  11. Leslie S.

    2014-06-05 18:39:48 +0100

    What a great post! Love the photos of Anna. Coach Sid sounds awesome!! I love that he inspires all of them.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  12. Debbie Piercey

    2014-06-05 19:23:19 +0100

    I just love reading your posts Ali. Sometimes I rush through & skim them, but everyone should take the time to read them as they are so enjoyable! You are such a good mother, and I love how you share the good, the bad, and the lessons learned. Thanks for sharing your stories and your adorable children with us!

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  13. Wendy

    2014-06-05 19:32:54 +0100

    LOVE this post!!! I love they way you tell a story. Great photos, the one of you is awesome!! I laughed out loud at "And yes, I know I look like a boy." I have some like that too (and don't even get me started on the clothes my mother let me leave the house wearing), I think we all do:).

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  14. Jana

    2014-06-05 20:54:57 +0100

    Kids soccer is really fun - loved watching my daughter play. It was especially funny watching them when they were young - the girls seemed more concerned about their knee socks than the ball at times! I also loved how even if they lost, they might be disappointed at the end, but within minutes they'd moved on and were looking forward to their end of game treat or hanging out with friends after. Great memories!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  15. Molly

    2014-06-06 02:51:00 +0100

    SO CUTE! I started playing soccer when I was 4 and would pick dandelions with my best friend and bring them to my mom. Fast forward almost 20 years and I was playing in college. So many great lessons to be learned playing soccer, or any sport!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  16. Lisa W.

    2014-06-06 04:01:26 +0100

    ALI this was so much fun to read and to look at the pictures!! That little Anna of yours is so SO so cute!!! Brought back allot of memories for me! My little lady wasn't as into it as my middle son. OMG he was so competive, yes at like 7!!! His goal was to see how many goal's he could score in a game:) It's a heck of a work out that soccer. Thank you for the smile today!!!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  17. Sophikins

    2014-06-06 07:07:42 +0100

    I am at the other side of this story- I just recently traveled over 2000 miles to see my daughter in her last NCAA Div 1 collegiate sports competition (not soccer though). She is graduating from college, and although it is a long journey from Pre-K to a national level championship event, the "mom" feelings that go with the frustrations and the successes never change. Ali, your post and the link really struck me, as this chapter of my daughter's life (and mine as a cheering mom) comes to a close. Most of all, I have loved watching her.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  18. libbywilko

    2014-06-06 12:51:28 +0100

    I loved seeing Anna's excitement running through the tunnel, yours handing out the oranges & Simon & Katie's comparing heights. So much joy and I love how you wrote about her soccer experience for her and your whole family. I'm also grateful for the link to the six little words post. It really spoke to me... Especially how I can be more intentional about how I react to the boys doing their activities . Thank you.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  19. Cathy R

    2014-06-06 15:04:21 +0100

    Your blog is one of the first I go to each morning and you never disappoint. I love how YOU share and are so open. Thank you! I so appreciate your sharing the link to the six little words post. Although my youngest is 32 and we are now in that phase of going to grandchildren's events, I will certainly be taking this advice to heart. I even sent the link to my DILs and to my daughter, asking them to learn from my mistakes!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  20. Angela Ezzell

    2014-06-06 16:45:03 +0100

    I LOVE LOVE LOVE this "family" post. Thanks for sharing!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  21. Leilani

    2014-06-07 07:35:51 +0100

    Love this post. My child graduated from Catholic grade school yesterday. She spent 10 years between TK and 8th grade with many/most of these kids. It was an amazing adventure and helped to build the foundations of so many values and of course community and family. Enjoy each and every one of these amazing adventures as all of the sudden you will look at these beautiful children and realize high school is right at the door. Looking at Anna brings back so many memories of our lovely girl and my heart bursts with happiness for all we have shared and what is now yet to come for your family.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  22. glee

    2014-06-08 04:15:09 +0100

    My older son used to hate watching the younger one's games. He'd say, "mom, they act like it's a game!" uh, yea son, it is a game!! so funny.

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  23. keely

    2014-06-09 00:54:30 +0100

    I love the joy I see in Anna's face!! Enjoy these days. My son played with the same group from K - 8th grade. He is now 20, away at college and I really miss the games and the people. Once a year I organize a soccer mom coffee night, just because.

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  24. Kim

    2014-06-10 14:22:31 +0100

    Love that COACH!!! what a treasure for those girls!
    Love the tunnel-absolutely amazing for them as well.
    Love your excitement over orange duty :)
    LOVE those 6 words!!

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
  25. I Love Watching You Play | Multi-Page Scrapbook Layout + Video Overview | Ali Edwards

    2014-06-25 13:01:14 +0100

    […] those design elements in mind I looked at my list of layouts I want to make and decided to get the story of Anna’s first soccer season into layout […]

    * edited 08/08/14 10:57PM
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