It's that time of year again and Gabe has started soccer. Last year, soccer was kind of a bust. It was beginning soccer for almost everyone and it just wasn't the kind of program we were hoping for. The kids weren't taught positions or basically anything about the sport, other than you can't use your hands. This year, we've had much better luck! I don't know if it's because Gabe is older now or that the majority of the kids are also older, but it is MUCH more enjoyable this time around!
When I brought up the idea of soccer, he was reluctant. It was such a mess last year, basically a free for all where everyone worked against everyone else. Gabe got really frustrated that his own teammates would "steal" the ball from him or that no one would pass it to him. He's so non-confrontational (he must get that from Matt) that when he saw a big scuffle around the ball, he just hung back, not wanting to get kicked or pushed.
This year, he's much more assertive and engaged. His coaches are awesome and do a fantastic job of keeping the boys focused and alert to the game. They are learning the different positions and rules of the game. He plays on the Sharks, which is a team made of 5-6 year old boys from all over Fort Bliss. I'm glad he gets interaction with boys his age from other schools and has the ability to make friends with a bigger crowd than those he sees day in and day out. His first game was on Wednesday and I was so proud of how well he did. His coach had him playing defense almost the whole game because he did such a great job kicking it out of the goal area (that's a highly technical soccer term). Even though neither team scored any points, it was still a good effort on both sides.
I'm really glad he stuck with it this time around. It is only the first game of the season (they play 8), but I think he enjoys it much more than last year. Maybe he'll stick with soccer, maybe he won't. I'm just happy he's getting out there and being active socially and physically.