Last weekend I had the pleasure of putting a 4-year-old through some soccer drills. The objective was simple, to have fun, be active and to break a sweat.
The apparatus was a 5×5 patch of synthetic grass that puts the finest blade of grass that nature has to offer to shame, 4 cones, 1 soccer ball, 1 enthusiastic youngster that was demanding a kick all day, 1 patient old timer (me), and 2 smiles.
Warm up: two goals and a quick run around to get the blood pumping. The game was played at a ferocious pace with Jack winning 6-2 on aggregate.
Once I got my breath back, we practiced the art of heading. A smaller, lighter ball was used to allow for correct technique.
After a few headers we moved straight into some zigzags which proved a little too difficult for the little guy. After battling through the cones for 3 sets we pulled the pin and opted for some shooting.
Shooting was definitely the highlight which involved an over theatrical goalkeeper trying to save shots from a distance of 2 meters. The theatrics and dives that followed would embarrass even the great Greg Lucanis.
The tension was building and after a long run up the backyard was filled with laughter. A 4-year-old giggling hysterically at my attempts to stop the ball would motivate even the most cynical coach.
Such laughter not only inspires but also motivates you to continue the session. The only reward is the sound of laughter and a young child grasping his stomach.
Shooting was short lived when the ball was kicked over the fence and into the neighboring property. The pursuit for the ball began with a walk around the block that involved a piggyback ride and a few missing chunks of hair.
The short session in the back yard focused on shooting, heading, passing, competition and fun.
Every time I see Jack he demands we play soccer. If it’s not soccer its jumping on the trampoline but that’s another story.
Does Jack really want to play soccer?
Maybe! Maybe not!
Does he want to hold his stomach in hysterics while trying not to piss himself?
What do you think?
The friendship, the laughter and the victories will echo in eternity. If the laughter continues and the jocks remain dry, there is no reason why little Jack couldn’t be the next Harry Kewell.
“May the winds of destiny blow you to the stars.”