Saturday, November 13, 2010

NaBloPoMo 13: Soccer kids

Patrick played soccer again this fall.  In the last few weeks, we have been really amazed at how much agility he seems to have developed.  He's learned to stop and turn on a dime to keep the ball from going out, to (finally) kick the ball in the right direction, and really gets in there to challenge other players.  He gets a huge amount of satisfaction from challenging the best player on their team at practices, especially when he can block him.  Today he said that he wants to play in the World Cup someday.  He really enjoyed watching it on TV this summer and we're all thrilled that the Ethiopian Soccer Tournament will be held here in Atlanta next year.  We'll be getting tickets to at least one game and I know that both kids are going to be in awe of seeing fantastic soccer played right in front of them.

The soccer season ended today.  Patrick's team had a tough season but won their last two games--today they beat the only unbeaten team in the league by several goals!  Patrick had a great assist and missed scoring a goal of his own by inches.  We're now considering options for an activity for Patrick over the winter.  He's expressed an interest in both gymnastics and indoor soccer, so we're looking at options to figure out which will work best for us.  He's done gymnastics before and really enjoyed it, and we know he'll play soccer in the spring, so something different for the winter might be just the thing.

Melkamu is desperate to play soccer (and football eventually, but the Gwinnett Football League doesn't start until age 6).  We're hoping our soccer league has different age guidelines for the spring leagues, as the fall league's 4-year-old age bracket had a cutoff of August 1st.  Melkamu already towers over the other children in those leagues...seriously, he must be a head taller than the majority of them.  We got him his own soccer ball a few weeks ago and he's quite good with it for someone who's never actually played before.  He's not very fast but is very careful about controlling the ball and has a really strong and pretty accurate kick when he's aiming for something.

It's been such fun to watch the kids develop their interest in sports.  Patrick has taken to heart being told that it's good to play with kids who are better than he is because that's how he'll learn.  He really feels great about doing well and it's been great for him to learn to work as part of a team.  Melkamu, who is my football-watching buddy, has been taking in more than I'd realized at all of the practices and games, and can't wait to play on a team of his own.

They are such great kids.

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