Soccer and Noble
I’m learning quite a bit about Noble based on his anger towards his first day of soccer.
First of all, here’s what he looked like going into his first day of soccer.
He looks happy, and he was! His best bud Alex was there, and he got a cool uniform to wear. Noble was excited to play with his new soccer ball with the snake picture on it. And he loved that he got to wear shin guards. We were all set for “fun”!
Keep in mind that it was over 100 degrees out. At 1pm. Noble’s face was already red before we started, suncscreen and all. The soccer experience was fine, at first. The coach had them dribble across the mini field and back. Noble enjoyed this part of the day. But then things got crazy….
I don’t know about other 4 year olds, but I’m pretty sure you have to keep things pretty simple in terms of how complicated games are. But that didn’t stop the soccer coach from “going for it”. Here’s a great game for you 4 year olds, to teach you about soccer (I will include the 4 year old perspective) – The coach has you dribble around the gridded out “playing area”. Remember no hands! (So far, so fun!) Then she will randomly come up to you and kick your ball away. (What?) And then you have to run and chase it down. (Ummm, that seems mean..I was just having fun kicking the ball!) When you chase your ball down, then you have to pick it up and stand with your legs apart, frozen, until someone kicks a ball between your legs to “unfreeze” you. (Wait! This is confusing. Earlier you were telling me not to touch the ball with my hands, and now I’m supposed to pick it up with my hands?! And why am I standing here with my ball, not doing anything? Somebody kick a ball between my legs!) And then when they unfreeze you, you dribble the ball, no hands, until she kicks it away again (Don’t touch my frickin ball, lady!)
Another fun game, filled with confusion, was the mini grid game. She divided the corners of the playing area into 4 tiny grids. She split all the kids up into various grids. There was grid one, grid two, grid three, and grid four. She was going to call out a grid number and when she does that, everyone has to dribble their ball as fast as they can, into that grid. If you are already IN that grid, then you dribble into any grid that you want, other than the one being called out. Seems pretty easy…..unless your FOUR!! It was basically a game of the coach yelling out a grid number and a bunch of parents yelling at their confused children as to which way to dribble their soccer ball. Even the grown ups were forgetting which grid was 1,2,3 and 4!
The plus side was that I think I learned something valuable about Noble’s personality. He’s not the type of kid where you can yell at him from the sidelines what he needs to do. A lot of the kids had a great time out there running around and doing what their parents called out, “Run run, grid 4! Over there! That way! That one! That one! Yeah!” or “Kick it between his legs! No, not your hands! Put the ball down! OK go chase your ball. FREEZE! You can’t move! OK you can move now! Good job!” Noble just wanted to have fun and kick the ball around. He was cool with some of the simpler exercises like “dribble around and when I say stop then you bounce your feet on the ball until I say go! And then dribble around some more”. Very simple. Very fun. But when it came to stuff that he wasn’t understanding from the instructions, it went from fun to frustrating.
Noble gets told what to do all day long, by me. “Clean your room, time for dinner, sit your ass down and eat your food, no more tv, that doesn’t go there, go back and flush, wash your hands, pick that up, take that to the garbage, good job!” This should be his time to have fun, without me shouting out his every move. And the only way he can do that is by having the stuff simple enough for him to understand on his own. Seriously, how much fun is it to have someone talk chinese to you, and then when they say ‘go’, you run around like a crazy robot awaiting your every instruction.
I hope things change. If he’s interested, I’m gonna work on the games, with him, during the week. But I could be staring down the barrel at soccer ending like this every week: