As an only child and a girl, sports were never a part of my vocabulary. There wasn’t much diversity to extra curricular activities either – dance, dance and more dance. You can imagine how happy I was when Gabby took to dance similarly to me.
After years of freezing her tushee off at Drew’s soccer games, I decided to offer up (strictly as repayment to Drew) soccer last fall. She jumped at the opportunity and I seized it, enlisting Adam as the coach and everything. Of course sports have now entered my vocabulary thanks to Drew.
Gabby spent the better part of the fall arranging tea parties, doing cartwheels or gathering flowers on the soccer field. It was quite frustrating to be out there in inclement weather while Gabby didn’t participate. The most frustrating part was that we didn’t actually know if she could or couldn’t play because she never tried!
This spring Drew retired from soccer. He loves all sports and appears to be athletically inclined to most, but soccer has not been his passion so he decided to focus on other sports. This allows for our Sundays to be dedicated to Gabby’s soccer. No more divide and conquer, we all show up. Adam on the soccer field ushering in six little soccer girls, grandparents, brothers and mother sitting sidelines cheering Gabby on.
The last two games, Gabby actually showed up! Not only did she run around the field but she scored goals! A lot of goals in fact! Once she noticed her brother’s enthusiasm for her sportsmanship (i.e. scored a few goals), she was on fire! Drew gave her the positive reinforcements she needed to be unstoppable. Now all of a sudden she cannot wait for Sunday to come. She’s practicing her skills in our backyard, she’s warming up before the game and she’s actually engaged!
Don’t get me wrong, I’d much rather sitting through a ballet show – definitely more MY speed. The increased self-esteem and engagement she is getting on the soccer field lately is thrilling to watch. I worry about the day where she stops being able to score multiple goals in a game, because I want her to always feel good about herself and the job she is doing. But today, or Sunday to be exact, I feel so good about encouraging her to try soccer. It’s so refreshing to see the excitement she is getting from this experience and I just hope she always feels that way!