Wednesday, November 28, 2007

when the game slows down...

Have you ever played a new sport and the speed of the action takes you by surprise? I remember the first time I ever played Hockey. I could barely keep up with the puck. I felt as if I were no my heals the entire time. I could never get a good shot on the puck. I was tired from the moment I started. After a few games, the game starts to slow down and come to you. It is like you are more in tune with the pace. You find that you are not on your heals any longer, but you are on top of the game. You think faster. You anticipate better. You come into a zone where everything just clicks.

My daughter Maddie took a 3 year hiatus from soccer. I retired from coaching High School soccer so that I could coach her team when she was a 5 year old. She played for 2 seasons and then told me that she hated soccer and wanted to concentrate on tennis. I was crushed. I love soccer. I love Maddie even more. So we stepped away from the sport... completely. Last spring, Caroline decided to play soccer. She had a great time. Maddie sat on the sidelines on Saturday mornings, watching her little sister have fun. This fall, Maddie told us she wanted to start playing soccer again. A little nudge from a younger sibling was enough to stir her interest in soccer again. She had a great fall season. She played defense all season long, and became a pretty good right back by the end of the season.

She was invited to play on an indoor soccer team for the first time with a group of kids from her original team back when she played U6. It was the first time most of these kids have ever played indoor soccer. The first game was not very pretty. We were crushed 7-2. The pace of the game really overwhelmed the kids. They found themselves chasing the ball alot. They were confused by the wall and playing the carom of the ball. You could tell they still had fun. I knew once they game came to them, it would get interesting.

Last week, I watched the game and noticed that our kids were playing pretty good. The big difference was they were keeping up with the game. It was happening, the game was slowing down. We won the game fairly easily and racked up a number of goals. It was obvious that the game had come to Maddie. She scored two goals and had a few assists. She was striking the ball with force, squaring her shoulders and being very aggressive. It was exciting to watch her have so much fun and some success.

Last night, I had to go bowling for VM Wireless and missed Maddie's game. She was apprehensive about the game, because of a conflict she has with one of the kids on the opposing team. It is a boy from school that bullies her and a few of her friends around. I told her, "Go out and have fun, play hard, be aggressive and don't worry about him. Show him you can play hard and maybe he will leave you alone." A few hours later she called me and said, "Dad, I scored 3 goals and we won 6-4." I was so excited for her! Her first "Hat trick"! She told me last night that she loved soccer and that indoor was getting easier! I am very proud of her. She works hard to improve her game. More important, she is developing a passion for the game that you will find within all great soccer players.

I love that she is playing soccer again and having lots of fun!


Abu Daoud said...

Thanks for dropping by Islam and Christianity. Look forward to hearing your impression of Bell's lecture/monologue/performance/sermon.

julie p said...

I love Maddie. And you are an awesome Dad. God sure did a darn good job with you two!

The Fixit Dude said...

Don't ya just love the "little" things HE blesses us with. God is amazing and truly rewards the faithful.