The kids have started soccer practice for the spring season. The boy’s team, which struggled last fall, looks to be a juggernaught this season for sole reason that the top player in the league last season—a boy who could just about score at will—is on our team this time around.
Last year, the parents on our sideline grumbled about how good that kid was, and how come he wasn’t playing on a select or premier team (we’re talking about 8-year-olds, here). As soon as the first practice rolled around, and they saw that phenom was going to be playing on our team, their tune had conveniently changed, as he was welcomed with pats on the back and talk of a league championship.
What I remember about those games from last year—the ones we lost by scores of 8-0 and such—was that while this little Pelé scored six or seven of those goals, and his teammates stood around while he scored over and over. Meanwhile, our players had to work to move the ball, concentrating on making smart passes and playing as a team. I think our kids learned more in losing those games than the kids on the other team did while winning.
The season starts this coming Saturday. We’ll see how it goes.