Saturday, September 24, 2005

L scores a goal.

This morning's soccer game was fantastic. I led the kids through warm ups with the other coaches and then we started to play.
L plays in the under 6 league. The orange team kicked off and swarmed down the field. L played some super defense. I watched her anticipate where the ball was going and position herself correctly, without ever getting guidance from an adult.
I cheered for L and all of the other girls on the yellow team when they made great plays. I also gently reminded them not to use their hands, ect..
The orange team scored a couple of goals. Their coach whispered to me that their star player was a champion ice skater. Pretty cool.
Late in the second half, C on our team had a throw in. I was carrying M around the field as I coached the other girls. I called to C and told her that L was open in the middle of the field. C is an excellent athlete and hurled the ball toward L. L settled the ball like a pro and turned it up field. She split two defenders and had a wide open breakaway.
The butterflies started once she broke clear and for 3 seconds the only thought that ran through my mind was: "Please God, let this go in!" I said it at least 5 times as she dribbled toward the goal. She unleashed a powerful shot in the lower left corner and made the twine sing.
I watched her toss her hands in the air and run back through her teammates. They all hugged her. Then she spotted me and sprinted over and jumped up into my arms.
No more goals were scored during the rest of the game, but our yellow team had some great chances. The girls were a little down about losing. I tried to pump them up by reminding them of their fantastic play:
"K, you had 2 great shots on goal."
"A, you had 3 amazing saves."
"Ka, you hit the post on one of your shots."
"We can't control how many goals each team scores. All we can do is our best, and the goals will come."
The girls really perked up as I mentioned each of their accomplishments and I believe that they forgot about the final score. It was not mentioned again.

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