so, the kids have been playing soccer for about 5 weeks now. they’ve both improved dramatically since week 1. actually, ellie has shown great improvement and JD still seems a bit lackadaisical at times . . . that is, until this past weekend. JD hasn’t scored a goal all year even though his team has literally averaged winning by about 12 – 1. his league plays 6 on 6 on a smaller field and they don’t use a goalie. his team has 12 players as do the other teams and they split and use 2 fields so there are no subs — they each play the whole game. JD is pretty active when the ball comes to him, but he wasn’t being very aggressive much of the season. i noticed the same thing with Ellie early on. so, i took them aside and had a few special soccer sessions where we focused entirely on being aggressive. i demonstrated to them how they should be aggressive without breaking the rules. i explained that i don’t care if they lose or if they play poorly as long as they’re trying and and as long as they’re being aggressive.
Ellie took this message to heart. she quickly became the best girl on her team and really started competing hard against the boys. she won’t back down from anything. i’ve also noticed that she’s getting faster. in a game two weeks ago, she stopped a drive by the other team and took off the other direction. while dribbling the ball, she beat everyone on the other team down about 1/2 of the field until she reached the defenders waiting for her. i was quite surprised with this burst of speed. anyway, she’s being aggressive. so much so that the other day at practice i saw them playing a game. now, i am spending the practice playing with JD, but i did noticed Ellie and a boy bump into each other and the boy went flying down and i could tell that Ellie leaned into it. she kept right on playing and her coach ran over and gave her a big high five. afterwards i asked her about it and she said, “i actually knocked 6 boys down tonight, but i only meant to knock 5 down. the other one was an accident.” heh. i again explained that she should make sure she’s not looking like she’s doing it intentionally. we’ll see. but her team won their first game this past weekend — 2 to 0. the two goals were actually their first goals on the season, so they were quite happy.
my mom and Bill were up visiting for JD’s birthday (as was Amber and Dave and AJ on Saturday afternoon through Sunday). JD and Ellie got along great with their little cousin, AJ.
a great time was had by all. JD turned 6 on Saturday and he also had a soccer game that morning. i had talked to him about being aggressive, but i also told him that he should make it a goal to score a goal. i figured this would help to give him more of a purpose out there. he took it to heart. his team won 13 – 2, but JD scored 2 of his team’s goals. the first came when a teammate shot an errant attempt at the goal, which got deflected to the left side of the goal box where JD booted it into the upper corner of the smaller goal. Ellie and i had to leave with much of the 4th quarter left in JD’s game since i had to get her to her game, but apparently JD scored a pretty spectacular goal midway into the 4th. the ball was on JD’s team’s side of the field and someone kicked it just past midfield. JD beat everyone to the ball and kicked it hard towards the open net — keep in mind these nets are only about 5′ across so this is a small target. the ball skidded across the grass with the other team chasing it down, but it tricked into the net just ahead of the defenders for JD’s second goal of the game. he was quite happy with his performance on his 6th b-day.