“She plays so aggressively!”

Someone actually said that to me today about Girly.  I went on to say that she plays in two places and before I could finish the sentence, this other parents said “Oh!  You’re working with her outside of practice!”  I had to correct her and explain that in fact, we had no idea she could play like this because the other place she plays, she literally “plays” with her friends–lots of hugging and ring around the rosy… some scrimmages.  It’s not like this league where they’re getting more formal and aggressive instruction.  I don’t care either way, but yeah–we don’t really do anything with her outside of either place.

But man, she really DOES play well.  I would have never imagined.  I’m really glad, too, because having something that’s truly hers that she does well at is really what she needs to help her build her confidence.

Meanwhile, I know most of the kids on her team by way of the color of their socks (or shoes) and I’m starting to learn by hair color and style.   I’ve figured most of them out by listening for whose name is being hollered when one of them has the ball and then asking another parent if I can’t figure one out.  Husbeau says that I’m the loudest parent cheering, but notes that I cheer for ALL of the girls. 🙂

Also, for the record, I’m not “one of those” aggressively competitive parents.  I definitely do NOT support the “everyone wins” mentality by a long shot; but there is definitely a middle ground between the ridiculously competitive and “everyone wins”.   For instance, I have no clue what the end score was for this game.  I don’t really care.  I care that they played well and played together as a team well more than the score.  I cared about the other team’s goalie who had a crying breakdown in the midst of a game–and offered up that their goalie shirt might have been too hot (we’re in the midst of a heat wave) because it had sleeves and looked heavier than what our team used.  I cared when someone got hurt and I felt like I was welling up a bit (which is a bit much–seriously there must be some PMS going on) because it looked like this kid took a cleat in the head by one of her teammates falling down.  We make conversation with whomever is sitting next to us, and it’s not clear what team they’re on.  Today, teammates family were to the right of us and opponents family to the left.  We all chat together.  We compliment good moves of either team’s kids.

Needless to say, I’m thrilled with this whole affair.  I love that the girls can learn to be good team players, but also good SPORTS.  Our coach leads by example and he is incredible with it.  He also wants the girls to play WELL, but not competitive in a nasty way.  He is courteous to the girls on the other team, too, and I think it’s an important example to set.

Girly loves it, too, of course.  Especially today–when she got blue Gatorade for the post-game drink.  I honestly don’t think the kid has ever had Gatorade or a blue drink in her life. She DID have neon blue colored ice cream last night, though.  So Girly would say #winning.

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