Yeah, I’m darn proud
I coach my sons soccer team. At level 0 (ages 5 & 6) the primary mission is to acquaint them with the ball; e.g. dribbling.
Practice is red-light, green-light; sharks and minnows, and run backwards. (you’d be amazed at how hard that is for some) I don’t do drills where they have to stand in a line (many don’t know “line”) or drills where they have to wait, because they will end up picking dandelions.
My son has become quite confident and proficient with the dribbling. One of his favorite things to do is play defense. Chase down the ball and steal it. Or, use some form of slide tackling where you kick it away, then fall down. (They just love that) I noticed, however, that to turn around and get going back in the right direction he uses the entire field, often turning, dribbling in front of his own goal, and slowly making the turn back down the right way.
So the next day, I decided to teach him at home how to stop the ball, flick it backwards, and change direction. It took him about 15 seconds to master the move. I was impressed, but doing it on the lawn and in a game are two completely different things. I never mentioned it again as I didn’t want that move to be overbearing in his mind during a game.
The following week he played a whole game and did well; apparently, not even thinking about “the move”. During the second game, he stole the ball traveling toward his own goal, but continued on for several strides before even attempting to turn, to the point I even heard some parents shout “other way”. I was so proud… I saw it coming. He wanted to think it through the first time.
Soon after I heard parents saying from the sideline, “Wow! Did you see that?”
Now he does it all the time with less thought behind it each time.
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