First Soccer Game

Porter’s first soccer game was… interesting.

I was a little disappointed in the program, the more I find out about it. Let me explain.

When I signed Porter up, for a 3/4 year old soccer program, I expected the games would be nothing more than a herd of 3 and 4 year old preschoolers who had no idea how to play the game of soccer… the only thing on their mind being “kick the ball”.

When we arrived to the game, I began putting two and two together and realized the program had been condensed to include 3, 4 and 5 year olds.

At first it didn’t seem like it’d be a problem, although you could definitely tell the 3 year olds from the 5 year olds… they were at least a head taller.

The game started and Porter was whiny. I finally got him excited to go out and play and immediately the ball was snagged by older kids and in the middle of the field was the straggling little kids, clueless as to what was going on. The older kids knew how to play and knew the objective of a game.

Porter lost interest QUICK. He wanted nothing to do with being out on the field. Why would he? He had no chance to get to the ball. He’s not a competitive kid by nature and when he had zero chance of getting to the ball he really could have cared less about playing. He did have fun for a few minutes when he was put in the game and the older kids were pulled out. He ran after teh ball with the group of other little kids, laughing and giggling.

I hate to be one of those annoying parents who are all “My kid… blah blah”… but honestly? 3, 4 and 5 year olds? That’s equivalent to putting Porter and Hudson on the same team. Essentially, they’re putting kids getting ready to go into preschool on the same team, and against, kids who possibly are going into 1st grade in the fall.

I wrote a letter to the soccer director expressing my displeasure in the program. The parents meeting last week was so…. “Oh there’s no score. Our goal is for all the kids to have fun and play and enjoy games. Every child will get equal playing time.” But… how is it fair/equal when the littler kids, who have never played a sport, can’t even get a fair chance to get to the ball?

I only wanted Porter to have a chance to play with other kids his age, to kick a ball around and run around a field. At this age I am not concerned at all with him learning much about skills or drills or plays. I wanted it to be a fun experience where he could get out some energy and have fun and run around with friends.

I wasn’t the only parent concerned/surprised at the age/skill level differences. I wasn’t the only one irritated or dissatisfied.

Anyhow… we’re sucking it up and we’ll stick it out for the next 6 weeks. I am hoping that maybe Porter will catch on, become a little more aggressive and jump in there. If not, well, I guess its a lesson learned. I’ll just wait until he’s old enough to play AYSO where the teams are run a little better.

  1. Wow, there’s definitely quite an age gap there! It’s too bad… The organizers and coach should know better and should have thought about that issue before hand, shouldn’t they?! I hope Porter can still enjoy it and have fun!

  2. Do you play for the Y? The girls play Tball for the Y…Bobby is their coach and they like that. I havent had any problems other then the fact that they get their shirts late. But I will admit that I put Emma (who is 6) on the 4/5 year olds….only because Bobby wanted to coach her. Plus she is really super uncoordinated so it works out fine! I hope it gets better for you though..I have never dealt with soccer, so I cant relate to that one.

  3. Did you ever hear anything back yet from the Y? I sure hope these other teams dont have the older ones on the team that we play. I think we play The Huff’s team next, which didn’t Katie say they have a young group? So that should be good. šŸ™‚

  4. Hmmm… that doesn’t sound like a very fun night of soccer! I guess that’s just the way it works out often. It’s been the same with Savannah’s team this spring (it’s thru a nationwide church league called Upward). They have the kids divided up into preschoolers and then K-1st graders. While Savannah’s smack dab in the middle of the age range in her group, there is such a huge range of skills it’s amazing. You’re right- the bummer deal is when you have the bigger, older kids with the skills… at least in our experience there’s been a good mix of all of it. There have been plenty of up to seven year olds who don’t have a clue what they’re doing and are not aggressive at all, and there are not even five year olds who can charge the ball and score a goal every time. It’s crazy how kids differ so much. Savannah completely flounders around out there and gets discouraged, but if we let Sawyer out there with the 7 year olds?? He’d be some competition even for them šŸ™‚ It’s just hard because Savannah doesn’t have that aggressive tendency and when it comes down to it, she could really care less. I waiver between thinking it should be broken up into simply skill more than age, but then Ryan tends to argue it’s good for them to see the game in action and deal with the more aggressive players sometimes. Otherwise, how will they learn it?? Young sports are so odd. You want them to have fun, but you don’t want to coddle them either.I wonder if you’ll hear back from the director. I hope you guys luck out and get a more “inexperienced” game next time and the boys have fun!!

  5. that is a wide range of ages, which wouldn’t be fair ror the younger ones. Here they go by the year they were born, they have to be 3 or turning 3 in the year 2009 so Morgan is already 3(in January), and some are 2,(depending when their bdays are). i like it that way because they will always play with kids the same age. Baseball is done the same way. I hope he still has lots of fun.

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