Monday, March 19, 2012

Day 894

So we never did make it to that Batman party (see yesterday's post) but we did get a Sunday filled with sport and family activity.  We started with a few hours of soccer before Tahlia and I then progressed to a few hours of cheer.

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Yesterday young Darby played in a school's soccer carnival.  The soccer season hasn't actually started but to kick of the year we had a local schools day where a bunch of schools put in a bunch of teams to have a bit of "kick and cackle" as they called it.  It was all about having fun. There was a serious component to the comp with a "world cup" type approach to some of the draws but we chose the less competitive avenue.

The thing about this carnival for our school was that the kids had (a) never played soccer together before and (b) many of them had actually never even kicked a ball!  The kids were just put into teams according to what year they were in, then they turned up on the day and were sent on the field.  Derek and I had put our hands up to assist with a team (well, if the truth be know, I put our hands up) and on Friday we were advised we were not just assisting ... we were the coach and manager.  Shit.

So we fronted up yesterday at 8.00am to register and find out who our players were.  Our first game was at 8.30 and at 8.20 we were standing on the field with one player. Darby.  Hmmm.

At 8.23 another play arrived, and then at 8.26 another arrived. By kick off we had 6 players for an 8 aside game.  Bugger.  One of them had a brother who was a similar age but playing for a different team (not due to his game until 10am) so we grabbed him and threw him onto the field.  Half way through the game our 8th member turned up (a tiny girl without shin pads and no idea how to kick a ball) so we threw her into the mix as well and only lost by one goal.

It turns out the other schools MAY have had their teams training together before the day, and they MAY have actually had kids who had played before, and they MAY have been taking it a bit more seriously than the "kick and cackle" title suggested.  Let's just say the day was character building and a lot of positive psychology techniques and encouragement was used to keep our kids enthused.

It was one of the most beautiful experiences we have had with our boy.  The day ended four games later with all of our players finally bonding, finding their legs, learning how to defend, attack and "tackle", and most of all, understanding that it is not about the number of goals that are scored but how much you learn and grow in the process.  It was a true underdog movie in motion with every one of the 3 goals our team scored during the day feeling like we'd just won the world cup.  It was a great day.

I MAY talk to the school though about giving us at least an hour preparation before the first game in future, just to prep the kids.  And I MAY just write a gentle letter to the organisers about ensuring the teams registered for "kick and cackle" are of "kick and cackle" qualification and not actually World Cup qualifiers wanting the evil satisfaction of creaming their weaker opposition. And I MAY in future ask if we might be able to apply the Mercy Rule if the score is 10 nil.  To be honest though, we weren't counting the goals against them ... we were too happy celebrating each and every one of their little achievements.

An interesting fact: It wasn't until the end of the day that we realised that of our eight players, six of them were girls. Derek and I had not even noticed the imbalance compared to the other teams who were sporting teams predominantly made up of boys. Huh!   

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