Saturday, June 27, 2009

Meet the Parents

Today we're meeting the parents of the soccer team we think our son is switching to. We've been invited to the pre-season swim party and cookout. I made chocolate chip cookies to take. They turned out all right. You can be sure I did NOT make my chocolate cinnamon cake.

Club soccer is truly a family activity. In our world of competitive soccer there are usually two to three practices a week that last about an hour and half each. The nine league games each fall and spring are played at fields about an hour away. The players usually have to be there forty five minutes before the game starts,. With the games lasting at least an hour and a half, that's a lot of time spent with the same people each week. Add to that a few tournaments during the year, some of them out of town, and you can rack up the hours.

But unlike getting together with relatives , there is no requirement that soccer parents like each other or try to get along.

It can be tricky getting along with the parents of your child's teammates (particularly with school teams.) Some parents are screamers, at the referees or the coaches or the kids on the field. It's particularly grating when a parent screams at his own child. Some are complainers, muttering just audibly enough for you to know that they think your child is screwing up or getting too much playing time. Some parents think their child is the MVP of the team, never responsible for an error or missed opportunity. If you have kids who've played sports, you know what I mean.

With club sports, parents do influence the tone of the team. We've been fortunate with our boys' soccer teams so far. A majority of the team parents have been encouraging fans and pleasant companions at the games and as we travel.

Now, after being with the same core group of parents for four years, we are switching teams. Our primary goal has been to keep soccer fun for our boy and for us. In changing, we only considered teams in our part of town. This will cut our commuting time by almost an hour per practice, giving our son more time for his academics and school activities. (It will free up even more time for me and Ricky since it will no longer be impractical for us to drop him off and then return to pick him up from practice.)

There are three teams in our area. All three are good, solid teams moving up. We did not even consider letting him try out for the top ranked of those three teams, though. Why? The best way I can say it is that the parents on that team just seem a little unkind. They are quick to yell at the officials and the parents of the opposing team. They don't hesitate to call out opposing players, young boys, for perceived fouls. It's unpleasant to be near them on the sidelines.

The other two teams both have good kids and good parents and have open spots to fill so Wiley had a choice. Either one would have been just fine.

We're looking forward to joining this new club and blending into the family. Hope they like us!

1 comment:

Jennifer said...

We love you and are glad you are on the team! I do cheer and always say something good about everyone!

Welcome to the Tornados!