Now, when I say "practice", I'm using that term very loosely.
The soccer "practice" was through Olathe Parks & Rec, as part of their Mini & Me program (ages 2 1/2 through 4; requires adult participation). The practices were once per week--30 minutes each--and spanned six weeks. Practice generally started with the kids running a lap and stretching. Then the coach would attempt to teach a basic drill or two and they would practice that drill. Finally, they would finish by playing a game (and I don't mean a game of soccer...just a random game that included kicking the ball). There were about 25 kids and their parents on night one. By night six, I'd say it dwindled to about 15. There were girls crying because they didn't get the pink ball, boys suited like professional soccer players, crazy parents video taping each and every move of their son/daughter, and then there was Brantley. He loved to score goals and kick the ball, but he wasn't much a fan of the running or practicing of drills. He was easily distracted by the other kids and Craig constantly had to remind him of what he was supposed to be doing. As much as Craig had been looking forward to this moment (organized sports) all of Brantley's life, I'm pretty sure he's thrilled it is over. It was pretty exhausting, to say the least.
Nonetheless, Brantley loved it! As we arrived to the field on his first night, he could barely contain his excitement. He was literally kicking and squealing like I had never seen. Each and every Friday morning after that, we would remind him of his soccer practice later that evening and he would get so excited! On night five, as we pulled into the park, Brantley exclaimed, "I love soccer!!"
And we loved that he loved it!
Last Friday, on the final night of the six-week session, the kids were awarded a metal. Each kid's name was called individually and each was recognized with a high five, round of applause, and participation metal. Brantley was so proud.
It may not have taught him much, nor does it guarantee our kid will be a soccer star in 15 years, but it was worth way more than that seeing the thrill and excitement on Brantley's face every Friday night. I still can't believe I have a kid old enough for organized sports...yet, I have a feeling this is only just the beginning.
Next up: Mini & Me Baseball in three weeks!
Here are some photos I took on the final night. Okay...and excessive amount of photos, but I love my kid and I love taking pictures! :)