Soccer with the Kids

We set up a soccer field in the new yard and Cassidy, Delaney and I have come up with a way to play one on two (old slow daddy against young and tireless Cassidy and Delaney). Here’s how it works. Cassidy and Delaney can run anywhere on the field, but I have to stay within around 12 feet from my own goal (we use one of the trees as the marker). This means that all of my shots are long distance shots, which makes it hard to score. In fact, I am 0-5, having lost 3-2, 5-2, 2-1 and, in a couple of one-sided marathons, 20-8 and 20-9. During the last couple of games, Cassidy actually concluded that I couldn’t score on an open goal and that there was no real need on her part to play hard on defense.

It’s amazing how much the kids get into it when they think it’s playing instead of practicing. Cassidy has already figured out four things on her own that she never learned at soccer practice:

1) If I get the ball, either by stealing it or after she scores a goal, she runs back to her goal and guards it (more casually now than at first since she thinks correctly that I can’t kick the ball straight). Since I am kicking from the other end of the field, I cannot (and probably never will) score a goal if she gets back into position. My only chance is to kick it around and past her while she’s running back. This is hard to do, which is why I have lost 5 straight games.

2) If she’s dribbling towards my goal and I challenge her, she turns around and kicks the ball back out to mid-field, beyond the tree- where I cannot go, and starts over.

3) If she gets close to my goal and kicks it hard, most of the time the worst thing that will happen is the ball bounces off my leg and she gets another shot. If she kicks it hard and repeatedly, she often scores, since I can only block so many shots in a row.

4) She and Delaney have learned to work together. One of them gets on one side of my goal and one on the other. When they do this correctly, it is almost impossible for me to stop them from scoring.

If we’d had this yard when she was 3 years old, Cassidy would be a good and interested soccer player. I don’t know if it’s too late to get her interested in it, but I’m going to try. Delaney may actually become a good player by the start of next season.

This is the first sports game we have come up with where I can try as hard as I want and it’s still competitive and fun. It is a whole lot of fun, especially for them. It’s easy to have fun when you’re clobbering your daddy.

Delaney's First Soccer Game

Delaney had her first soccer game this morning. She jumped right in and played as hard as she could. She kicked the ball a few times and (mostly) paid attention to the game.

With a little more practice, she can be a good player. Most importantly, she had a good time.