A few weeks ago, I took my daughter Cydney to Havannah Cafe for brunch. My daughter loves to take my phone and upload videos of herself onto my Snapchat account. Upon regaining possession of it, I noticed an influx in notifications via Instagram. I joked to myself and said “Kevin Hart must have used the hashtag #SoccerDadChronicles again!” I was right. It felt as if I had written it into existence because I mentioned that on this site a few days prior. Hart’s 36,000 views in six minutes trickled into others clicking on the hashtag and up until that day, if you were to do so, all one would see are pictures and videos of Cydney. Sweet.
Because of Spring Break, there was no soccer the weekend of April 23rd. Even though Cydney wouldn’t be in town the 30th, I had all intentions of showing up to coach my team because others were counting on me. That Friday night, I looked at the soccer club’s Facebook page and read that soccer was cancelled. I was ecstatic, especially because I was hanging out and enjoying the last leg of #FerrisBuellersWeekOff.
The next Thursday, I looked at the club’s site for any updates, and it turns out that I misread the previous week’s message. The cancellation date was actually referring to April 23rd and not the 30th. I missed a day. Whoops.
The first thing that I did this past Saturday when Cyd and I got to the field was apologize to the parents. I told them that I’d misread the club’s page and they understood. One father told me that it was all good and that many children were missing due to it being spring break. I felt a little better.
After the thirty minute tutorial session, it was time to scrimmage. Attempting to not show favoritism, I didn’t let Cydney start. I also forgot almost all of the childrens’ names and figured that I could relearn them as their parents cheered and told them to not steal the ball from their teammates.
Although no one scored for the first six or seven minutes, the Orange Monsters began to roll. Goal after goal, the other team didn’t stand a change. The kids that comprise of my team are quite aggressive and definitely live up to their moniker.
When I let Cydney get into the game, she casually jogged along and was almost always the last to the ball. She’d get a few kicks in and began to sulk. With each goal her teammates scored, she got more and more upset because she wasn’t scoring. Then I saw tears. I pulled Cydney out immediately, telling her that we don’t do that over sports and asked her what was her problem. My daughter was getting upset because no one was passing her the ball.
Cydney has been learning to play soccer for over two years. Her previous coach had been teaching her how to play soccer for real. She wasn’t lagging behind for the sake of being lazy; she was spacing out for other kids to pass the ball and she was open. Unfortunately, Cydney is playing with kindergartners. They know nothing of passing. They only understand run to the ball as fast as possible and kick it. All I could do was tell my five year old was that if she looks at everyone else on her team, they were running and diving for the ball. “You gotta be more aggressive, Cydney. Notice how dirty everyone else’s uniforms are and yours is pretty clean. You see that?” Cydney whimpered yes.
After a few minutes on the sideline attached to my leg, I put Cydney back in the game. She ran with a little more pep and made a few plays. However, this was the first game in which not only didn’t she score; but she was always the first one to score within the first two minutes of game play.
The Orange Monsters continued their tear. We were winning 7-0. The coach of the other team was moving incredibly slow. Every time the ball went out of bounds, he wanted to set the children up before the next play. He was killing me. I kept an extra ball in hand so that as soon as one went out of bounds, I would yell “Live ball!” and put another one in play.
With two minutes left, I asked if anyone else would like to play goalie. Cydney raised her hand and said “I do!” There wasn’t much time left and we were shutting the other team out, so I let her give it a go. My Orange Monsters were killing it and there was no need for Cyd to do anything. She sat there in a much more ready stance than a few weeks ago (At one point she was playing with the sleeves of her undershirt). Before I knew it, the game was over and everyone was happy.
I brought my team in and told them how proud I was of them. They didn’t take the ball from each other, they listened, and most importantly, they had fun…and we won.