As I sat today freezing on the sidelines of yet another soccer Sunday, it hit me. There are lessons to be learned here and I'm not talking strictly soccer.
The first thing I learned, and I've actually known this for awhile, soccer should not be played past September 30th and not before May 1st. It's just too cold. Men have found a way around this by creating indoor soccer for the winter months. Not much warmer. Typically indoor soccer games are played in big old hockey rinks or in our case, horse pull arenas at the local fair grounds. Both cold places. One smells like sweaty hockey players, the other like sweaty horses. Neither are heated nearly enough to be comfortable in February, but at least there's no wind. Soccer is a sport for shorts and t-shirts, not layers.
The second thing I learned today is, the mayor can be a regular mom when she's at the soccer field. She volunteers in the concession stand, chases after lost water bottles and can dress down in jeans, sneakers and a barn coat. My 8 year-old was very impressed that the mayor took time out of her busy, city-running- schedule to cook him a hot dog.
As I sat there in my captain's chair, wearing 3 layers and wrapped in a blanket, I came to another realization. Coaching 8-year-old soccer is not much different than teaching kindergarten. It's all about classroom management. I manage my flock in the confined area of the classroom, hubby manages his flock on a field where the only boundary is an orange line. I can't help but be impressed that he manages to keep those little boys all together within that orange line.
The lessons he teaches aren't academic ones, but lessons for life.
He teaches them to be team players. How to be there to receive the ball when your friend needs help, and he teaches them to give up control of the ball when you run into trouble. Everyone needs to learn to give and ask for help.
He teaches them to deal with life's disappointments, because we can't always be the winner. And he teaches them how to give credit where credit is due because everyone needs to hear "good game" now and then.
He teaches them that it's okay to shake hands at the end of the game even though "I might get germs on my hand" and that it's okay to take a break because " Dad, my spleen hurts."
Hubby is just like me, the sheep dog herding the flock, imparting knowledge upon them, all while having a good time.
Soccer, Kindergarten it's all good.