Ella's first soccer practice was last night. And I didn't really know what to expect. I mean, the only team sport I ever played was in middle and high school, so my experience with all of the "team" stuff is running 5 miles and then doing those horrible horrible sprints up and down the hills surrounding my school. Was Ella's coach going to make them do a timed mile run? Maybe some "ladders" up and down the field? I had no clue. If you have never been to a 3 year-old soccer team's practice, let me tell you what it's like: SNIAUNYUBCXTEVNASOMBCYWEBC. It made just as much sense as those letters I just pounded out on my keyboard. Practice started by meeting Coach Betsy, learning that when she blows her whistle you need to stop running and stand still, and how to kick the ball. The end. And their first GAME is this SATURDAY. Only one "practice", and then the game. So we'll have a bunch of three year olds running around the field in different directions, but they'll at least know to stop running when the coach blows on her whistle. But seriously, it was maybe the cutest thing I have ever seen. Ella is the only girl on the team even though we signed her up for the boy/girl team, and she is by far the tallest one. Get used to it, kid. Coach Betsy asked them if anyone had any good ideas for a team name, and almost all of the kids said "YES! I DO!!!". And then none of them said anything. At all. They looked at her like she had a booger hanging out of her nose. So some kid ended up shouting out "Tiger!", so the Tigers they are. Thank God he didn't call out something ridiculous like Peacock! or Hamster! She got her uniform, a lovely orange, green, black and white ensemble that all of the kids wanted to put on right THIS MINUTE GAHHHHH. So they were all stuffed into their jerseys, having on their coats and sweaters underneath. Basically it looked like a bunch of overly ripe pumpkins waddling around the field. Ella had a blast, even if she is still just a smidge confused by the whole premise of this soccer thing. On the way home, I reminded her of how she has to listen to her coach when she's telling the kids what to do, and Ella pinched her bright orange jersey between her fingers and asked, "Is this my coach?". I think we still have some fundamentals to work on.
Not a single kid was running in the same direction.
I didn't have the heart to tell her that doing the splits is not considered a useful skill in soccer.