Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Brady's first soccer game

Brady wanted to play soccer this year so we signed him up for a league at the YMCA. They had a few practices and clearly his favorite part is running, but we weren't sure how the actual game would go. Last weekend, March 21st, was their first one!

Getting on the shin guards, getting game face on

They had a scrimmage at practice the week of the game and Brady did well. The only thing he didn't do very well was kick the ball in the correct direction. But given his newness to the game, we were pretty impressed with how well he did. At this age, the kids who can outrun the "pack" are the ones who get to touch the ball the most, so it was going to be interesting to see how he did (he is one of the faster kids). His friend, John Michael (the son of one of our friends, Elizabeth, who also happens to be a marathoner) is really fast and scored a lot at scrimmage, so it was going to be fun watching he and Brady run around and try and score goals. Now comes game time...

Brady before the game. Goofball.

The morning of the game, I asked him if he remembered which direction he was supposed to kick it toward before he kicked it and he said yes. So I asked him why he would kick the wrong way sometimes and he said, "I don't care where it goes, I just want to run faster than everyone else to get to the ball." So I asked him to try and kick it to the right direction and put it into the goal during the game and he said, "Okay, dad." That was easy!

We would be proud of Brady no matter how well (or bad) he did, but he did such an amazing job! We were so proud of him. He scored the first 3 goals of the game before getting subbed out in the first half. He came back in at the end of the 2nd half and got one more. He scored 4 of his team's 6 goals (or maybe it was 5 of 7). John Michael and a boy named Nicholas got the other 2. What I was really proud of was how well he grasped what he was supposed to do. When the other team would breakaway to score a goal, I would yell for him to go get the ball and not let them score. On 3 breakaways, he ran down the kid dribbling the ball and kicked it away! How awesome is that? (Of course, I'm leaving out the part when he leaned down and stopped it with his hand! But he only did it once.) The best one was when Brady was the absolute furthest away from the ball (standing by the goal he's supposed to score in) and the other team got a breakaway. All his teammates didn't know what to do, and really, neither did Brady because they broke away so fast. I yelled for him to stop them from scoring and I've never seen that kid run so fast!! He went from the back of the group to all the way in the front and kicked the ball away from crossing the line at the very last second. Wow! :)

Trying to breakaway for a score

Goal #3 (I think?)

Goal #4

Riding the pine in the 2nd half

"Good game"

It was a really proud moment, especially hearing all the comments, even if just jokingly. Some of the ones I remember the most (but there were others):

  • "Wow, Brady is a ringer!"
  • "I haven't seen a kid that fast. Is he running track already?"
  • One parent came up to me after the game and shook my hand and simply said, "Congratulations. He's phenomenal."
  • On the other sideline Melanie heard the parents from the other team saying "Oh my gosh, there's no way we could stop that #5."
Anyway, all we want for Brady is for him to have fun and learn some basic skills...all this was just a nice bonus.

One of Brady's biggest fans enjoying the game

The day after his game, we decided we were going to do some run 'training.' I signed him up for a 1K run the day before my race in Galveston, so I asked him if he wanted to train with dad to get ready for it. Asking him if he wants to run, are you kidding me? Of course! So we ran a half mile on Sunday together and I tried to teach him about pacing himself so that he doesn't get so tired that he can't finish. He did awesome again and picked up the concept really fast. He ran the half mile about 14 min/mile pace, so not too bad. But there were 3 funny moments that stood out to me.

The first was when we were running on the sidewalk and were about to cross the entrance to the elementary school parking lot (across from our house), a place where he knows there are moving cars (on weekdays, anyway). As we're running, he slammed on the brakes right at the sidewalk edge and looked up at me as if asking "Can I cross this daddy?" I came back and told him that if he's with me and I say it's okay, he can go across it. The second funny thing was when we got to the halfway point and turned around into a very strong wind. As soon as we turned around, he said "Oh man. It's slowing me down dad." I chuckled and told him to just keep trying. He did, all the way to the end. The third thing was when we got back into the house. He fell on the floor on his back, sprawled out as if doing a snow angel and said "Man, I'm tired."

What a great weekend! I hope you enjoyed reading about it.

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