It is still summer, hot days, warm nights, baseball, barbeques, and swim days but fall is around the corner, and that means football. Yes I am psyched about the NFL, but I’m talking about a different kind of football, the one played on Saturdays by over 600,000 kids each year in the AYSO, the biggest youth sports organization in America.
When I played as a kid I remember the smell of the grass, the sun, the rain, the mud, the joy of victory and the agony of defeat (not really), but most memorable were the games, the halftime orange wedges, and lunch afterward with my friends at the local Burger King. Those times were great memories, and so when I realized my 4 year old son could start playing this fall I was excited to sign him up. He has also been playing at school, so I knew, or at least hoped he would enjoy it.
During the sign ups I also volunteered not knowing what I was getting myself into, and it turns out I got pegged to be the head coach. Albeit a head coach is a loose term when it is a bunch of 4 year olds. After taking a few tests and attending coaches meetings, I am more excited than I thought I would be, and at least in our age group I am in the same boat as most of the other parent coaches – first timers. We already had our first team meeting, a bbq where we met the kids and parents, explained the rules, kicked the ball around and passed out the uniforms, everyone had a great time.
Our first game is only 2 weekends away and I cannot wait to get the kids together, and yet I am bracing for the chaos of 8 four-year old boys running around like crazy. Will I be able to contain them? Probably not but I’ll have fun trying. Luckily the U5 (under 5 yr old) league is only two 10 minute 3 on 3 “games” on a small field with no goalie, and we do not keep score. Hopefully this will avoid hurt feelings, sore losers and everyone will have lots of fun.
Starting September, the crisp fall mornings will be like going back in time for me, just as my parents took me, I will take my son and we will create new memories together that hopefully he will remember for the rest of his life. As a father what more could you want. So if you haven’t signed up your son or daughter there still might be time and if not be ready for next spring’s sign-up, and maybe you will even want to volunteer too. Saturdays are going to be great!
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