Sunday, July 29, 2007

Annika's Soccer Game

Ok this is an important post. Really important lol. The photos in this are priceless. And may never be seen again. It's a rare occurrance, and should be noted with a holiday or something equally important.

Annika played a soccer game.

I'm sure most remember when Annika's Soccer season started. I had reasonable expectations for a 4 year old, as Ive seen both of her sisters play at that age and know they cant do a lot. But I did see them play. They loved it. They got in the game and ran after the ball. All is good.

So imagine my shock when, at Annika's first game, she wouldnt play. In fact, she wouldnt practice before the game. she screamed and cried and dragged on my leg. I never had a child who acted like that in public before. What does one do? pick her up and take her home. More ScREAMS> She wanted to stay. but not play. And not watch. I dont know what she wanted. I tried to carry her away, dropped balls and water bottles and coats.....ugh.

SO I figured ok she's tired. I tired her out. She didnt want to leave her friends. She'll get over it.

That was in June.

She's gone to soccer each Wednesday since, and enthusiastically takes part in warm ups, drills, skills. But when they join another team and start up a game, she does that "hug herself, look at the ground, and walks away". If you attempt to put her in the game she collapses and cries as tho you just told her to run on shards of glass. In her bare feet.So naturally we agreed to go soccer, take part in the practice, and then watch the game.

Last week I got her to step on the field, holding Holly's hand. Holly wasnt to TOUCH the ball, just hold Annika's hand so she would go. It worked for about 3 minutes really, but I considered it a big accomplishment lol.

Had no higher hopes for this week. We all went to soccer, and Holly and Taylor made a sign to hold up, cheering Annika on. Funny. They got bored in about 2 minutes and went away to look after Ella. Who was watching her brother actually PLAY the game.

I noticed quickly that one of the coaches was missing, and I volunteered to help the one who remained. It's really hard to get a group of 4 year olds to listen, so I just repeated everything she asked them to do, lined them up, and helped her get them to do the drills. Cute. I couldnt coach this age of kids.

Then it's game time. we only had 5 players. So we needed each one. I took Annika by the hand, and I went onto the field with her. She was ok for a few minutes but if we got too close to the ball, she'd try to leave. I held her hand. LOL She didnt collapse. WOW.

So then, I was able to "stear" her towards the ball occassionally. She even got in front of it a few times.

A few minutes later, I let go of her hand.
And rather than leaving the field, she ran after the ball. LOOK CLOSE AT THAT PHOTO. ANNIKA is PLAYING SOCCER!

SHe even seemed to be having fun! Once in awhile, she would look around, realise what she was doing, and walk over to me. Id take her hand and place her back in the game. she would eventually let go again, and chase the ball.

A few times she even kicked the ball. QUITE a few times in fact. She played like she'd been playing all year!

She got right in the game and played the entire thing. From start to finish. Without leaving for anything except a drink.
It was a miracle!

Annika's team won by a mile. It wasnt even close. There's a little boy on the team who could have played all by himself and won the game without any help. I personally think he's the reason that they should be allowing some kids to move up a level. But no one really keeps score.

And we made this HUGE deal of Annika. She was the best, she was the end all and be all of soccer. it was very cute. After a few treats (i might have promised to her) she left the game feeling extra proud of herself. :) And we are pretty darned happy about that.

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