I enjoyed the first week of coaching the Orange Monsters…my Orange Monsters. Since we left Garden City Centennial in 2014, Cydney has been sad about no longer being with her beloved Team Frozen. She missed being on a team, playing with girls, and most of all, she missed her instructor. Last week was the first seven day-span I didn’t hear a word about Team Frozen.
Cyd was ecstatic Saturday morning. When I woke her up, she jumped around, and got herself dressed. It was soccer day.
The morning started with thirty minutes of tutorial time. There are about forty children running around with their soccer balls. It’s too much stimuli for me to be paying attention. Because there are so many balls, Cyd’s ball gets lost in the fray and someone else will be using it. She would stop all activity until she got her ball with her name back. From the other side of the field, I’d yell “Cydney, just use any ball. We’ll get yours back.”
It was game time. To show there wasn’t any favoritism, I didn’t start Cydney. We not had goalies, so I asked the kids who wanted to play goalie first. The first child who raised their hand was rewarded with taking the first crack at being our last line of defense. About three minutes into play, said child began to mope, saying “I don’t want to be goalie anymore!” I told him that he had to for just a little longer and his attitude got worse. Eventually, his father pulled him out, sat him on the sideline, and said to me in a tone I understood as a black father “We don’t do that over here.” His son sat out for the rest of the half.
Very quickly, the opposing team scored three goals. While I know this is just kindergarten soccer, I am very competitive; I wasn’t appreciating how lopsided this game was becoming.
Things quickly began to change. Cydney scored the first goal and shortly after, another girl on our team scored three goals. We were winning!
Going into the second half, I asked the kids who wanted to tend goal next. Cydney raised her hand and said “I do!” I know my kid and her temperament. Goalie is not her thing. Nonetheless, I had to give her a shot.
While I was thoroughly entertained by Cydney playing goalie…never again. Cydney put her hands on her hips and began to shake while the Orange Monsters were on offense. I had to remove myself from the sideline to stand behind her and tell her to pay attention. At one point, she bent down to pick grass and twirled a few times. I think I saw her singing to herself, as well. I had to constantly yell “Cydney! Put your hands up! Pay attention!” My child took her orders literally and kept her hands up until they ached, saying “Daddy, my arms are tired!” The opposition scored three goals. One of those goals happened because Cydney stopped the ball. It rolled into her hands and as she tried to scoop it up, she lost control, and it went right through her legs…goal. I told Cydney “That’s enough and put her back on the field.”
I let another little girl play goalie and she was the greatest of all time. Nothing was getting past her. Only one goal did…and it was because one of her teammates kicked the ball into it.
Cydney started to complain because one of her teammates was a little aggressive. The boy kept taking the ball from her. I ran on the field and told him “Hey, you can’t take the ball from your teammates,” and he complied. The second complaint from my daughter was that she wasn’t getting the ball enough. I informed her “You gotta run, baby. You’re out here jogging and everyone else is running. You want the ball you gotta run!”
We lost 8-4. It was fun and the kids had fun. That’s all that matters. As we walked back to my car, I hoisted Cydney onto my shoulders. She was happy. She rapped about the Orange Monsters and all week has been talking about how she can’t wait to go back to soccer. I have to remind her that there is no soccer next week because of Spring Break.
Soccer Dad Chronicles will be back in two weeks. Cydney will be on vacation; but I still have to coach.