Last week marked the final day of Owen's first session of soccer class!
While Owen was (and is) really into kicking the ball and having fun, soccer class was not our jam 100% of the time, but we're still so proud of him! I think he learned a lot during our session. His teacher, Coach Jason, was amazingly patient, creative and cool with the kids and parents. I think we just signed him up too early. The age range for this level is 2-3 1/2, so we were on the younger end of the spectrum of kids.
His favorite thing about soccer class was when the games were turned into something that required him to knock cones over with his ball or pretend to be a garbage truck by picking up cones as he kicked his ball past them. He also really loved the last class when Coach Jason had the kids chase him with their balls and try to knock his ball away from him with theirs.
But sometimes even the really fun sounding games were a bit too involved for us to follow. For example: look at your game card (a piece of laminated printer paper with pictures of cartoon animals in different colors), pick an animal, kick your ball to the set of flags that coordinate with the color of your favorite animal while making the noise the animal makes. Sounds fun, right? But also kind of complicated for
He would do almost anything to distract himself from the games we were playing... Oooo bottle cap in the grass! Gotta recycle it. Bird flying in the air! Where's it going? Let's follow it. Playground!?! Must play in sand NOW!
But it wasn't all for nothing, I would like to point out a few great things about his first soccer experience:
lessons in following directions - Owen was absolutely not interested in kicking the ball where it was supposed to go in the first class or so. He wanted to just kick it wherever he deemed the most fun place to kick a ball. Don't blame him, that's how we play in the front yard. But by the last class he would actually try to make his ball go where Coach Jason or I would tell him to bring it.
an introduction to "group sports" - This was Owen's first experience playing a sport among other children. They didn't really have to play together at any point, but they all did have to learn to respect each other's space, take turns and be work around each other in a small space.
learning to respect the teacher - Owen responds well to authority (even more easily if it is not mom or dad), so this was an easy one for him, but still an important practice. Many times during the class the kids were asked to stand on the "orange line" with their ball and listen to the directions. I thought this was great practice for getting used to dropping what you're doing to listen to the person in charge -- not an easy task for some children.
exposure and commitment - If anything, he saw on a consistent basis some of the basics of soccer, and got to try them out for himself. He's getting better at keeping the ball in front of him and bringing it to where he wants to go, as opposed to just kicking it off in any one direction. This was also a lesson in not quitting something if it's not panning out exactly the way we planned --- that one was for he and I!
We plan to continue practicing what we learned and honing his skills, and will definitely take the soccer class again next Spring! For the rest of the summer I think we're going to stick to swimming lessons, more on that next week!