I felt like my days of being a soccer mom were nonexistent, however my son has proven me wrong. He has taken a likening to the sport and is now on a team. However, he feels that he is kind of out of place with the other boys on his team, because most of them have played on teams before and have experience learning the basics. I understand how he feels, however I know that I am capable of practicing with him to raise him to that level.
During his first soccer practice, I was writing notes on my phone of what aspects that I need to practice with him on. So, a few days later while we had good weather, I decided to take him in the backyard to go over some drills.
I tried to explain to him that there are 5 areas of the body that can stop and direct the soccer to where he needs it to go. He just needed to learn each one. First, I started rolling the ball to his feet to teach him how to stop the ball with the inside of his feet. Next, I flung it to the top of his foot, to teach him how to arch his foot and catch it. Then, we went over how to drop the ball with his thigh. This was his least favorite, but he never gave up and he wanted to learn how to do it. Then, we went over to lean back to roll the ball down with his chest. Lastly, I had to teach him how to use his head, which was his favorite. It is tricky to learn where it is acceptable to use his head on the ball. I would coach him, “aim for the right cone”, and then he would hit the ball with his head toward the right cone. I would switch back and forth to the cones and to me, and he did really well with that.
Once, we gave his head a break, I decided to test his memory. So, I began running toward him and then throwing or kicking the ball toward different areas of the body to see if he would use each part according to what we just went over. He did pretty well for just learning them. He turned to me and smiled, “Thank you for helping me”. I smiled back, “You’re welcome, buddy”. Then, he jumped up, “Let’s play a game! Can granddad play?”.
So, my dad, brother, son and I went in the backyard and played two full games of soccer. I could see that he was using the different blocks and stops that I just coached him on. He did exceptionally better playing soccer – and with more confidence.
It made me feel good that I was able to get out there and help him. It is part of being a single mom, you have to play mother and father. Luckily, I was very athletic when I was younger, so the drive is already in me to play with him and teach him what I know. I won’t stop playing with him until I absolutely can’t.
That following Monday was his second soccer practice. We got there early, so I grabbed some soccer balls and kicked them to him. I played goalie while he tried to spike them on me. It was fun to play goalie for him. Then, some of his team mates gradually started coming over. I continued to play goalie for them as well, because I like to be apart of what my son is doing and to be that support that he needs. Plus, I am that cool mom…Then once the coach got there, I noticed the awkward looks he gave me, so I left the practice up to him.
Before his first game, he expressed how nervous he was and worried that he would do terrible. I tried to uplift him and let him know that there are no expectations, I just want him to have fun. He felt better after my pep talk, and he did very well.
As the game went on, I totally became that mom that cheers and yells for all of the kids. It’s just hard not to, the adrenaline from the game is there in me even on the side lines. I just want the best for my son and his team. I’m already attached to it all, that’s what soccer moms do.
Point is, I know that my son appreciates my involvement. I know that he needs me to be there and guide him, because I’m the one that truly knows how to speak to him in a way for him to fully understand. He loves that I cheer him on in the games and I encourage him to be the best that he can be. He loves that I believe in him. That is what he needs for soccer and in life. I just know that he will gain so much from this sport. I will make sure of it.