Friday, September 24, 2010


We put David in soccer when he was four, and it was a nightmare.  The first three Saturdays were practice days.  Each kid had their own ball, and the coach gave them various drills.  He enjoyed that.  He also loved pretending to be a soccer player which is completely different from actually playing soccer.  When you pretend to play soccer, you dress in the uniform, put on all the equipment and play a game with a soccer ball where you make up all the rules and quit as soon as you're bored.  This is a fundamentally different experience from playing a game of soccer.  

About two minutes into each of his four-year old soccer league games, David realized he wasn't going to get the ball much, didn't get to make up his own rules and was completely done.  So we ended up paying $100 for the privelege of getting out early every Saturday morning with a baby, a two year old and a four year old who hated playing soccer.  I swore off preschool sports.

Fast forward one year.  I put Jacob in a soccer class.  They played games where they each had their own ball.  He loved it.  I began to rethink my preschool sports position.  During the last class they played a scrimmage.  About two minutes into it he started crying because the other kids weren't sharing the ball.  Those tears saved me $100 and a lot of frustration.

David and Jacob just started soccer a few weeks ago.  Jacob scored a goal and now LOVES soccer.  I still have some angst about organized sports for young kids, though.  Is it one of those crazy cultural blindspots like corsets or duels or public executions?  Are people going to look back on us 100 years from now and wonder how we could not see how nuts this is?  Is it worth the time and energy we're investing in it?  I don't know.  But, if you're homeschooling your kids* it's an awfully convenient way to get them around other kids, so for now, the brothers h are in.

*  There's another interesting question.  What is the current practice of homeschooling going to look like to future generations.? Nuts or cutting edge?

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