I am proud to call myself a soccer mom.
I never thought I would say those words, either.
But here I am, a mom of two girls who have a love for the game of soccer. They have turned me into a mom who loves the sport just as much as they do. I look forward to the weekends when I get to cheer on both of them. And with the love of the sport comes the confessions of a mom who feels the need to show you just how much I love the game and enjoy supporting my daughters. So here goes my confession…
I get into the game
I admit it….I really get into the game. I am a yeller. I come by it honest, though. I got it from my mom! She got into games when I was a kid and she still does today. I was also a cheerleader, too, so I love to cheer on others. You may see me get super excited and scream and yell…A LOT…but know that it’s because I absolutely love sports, no matter what game it is, and I love to be able to cheer on the players, whether I know them or not. I yell even louder when my children score a goal! Click on the link to hear me screaming when my oldest daughter scored a goal this past spring: Goal Scoring Screams. Even our pastor made a comment in a church service one time saying, “Have you ever watched a game with Vanessa? She really gets into it!” Yes I do!
I have been told not to yell my child’s name during a game
Of course, this comes from both of my children. They might get a little embarrassed by my yelling. I am not one of those parents who yell negative things at their kids. But for some reason, me screaming one of their names and telling them to GO, GO, GO, makes them want to crawl in a hole and hide. I have to defend myself and tell them I yell their name because I am only encouraging them to GO! They don’t get it. Maybe one day when they become parents they will.
I always bring a chair to the game, but rarely do I sit in it
Soccer fields typically provide no place to sit. A few venues may have one set of bleachers, but usually there is nothing. Which means you must bring your own chair. Parents line their chairs along the sidelines and sit down to cheer on their child. I do all of that, but rarely do I sit down in it. Why? Well…let’s refer back to number one…I get into the game. When things are exciting I can’t sit still. I must move around. You might see me jumping up and down, pacing the sidelines, or hiding behind another person because I’m too nervous or excited to watch! The chair is only there if I really need it.
I have been known to yell “Push her back!”
Soccer is a rough sport. Girls can get aggressive. What I think should be a foul, is not. What I think is not a foul, usually is. It all depends on the referee. So, if I see my child getting shoved and pushed around, the mama bear in me comes out. It’s then that you might hear me yell, “Push her back! They’re not calling it!”
I tell my girls to get aggressive, too. My two children have learned to fight back on the field and not get pushed around. But, sometimes they want to use their arms and shove. You can’t do that. You have to push back with your shoulders. My youngest has not quite mastered that skill yet. And that’s the reason she gets many fouls called on her. In those times, you might hear me (and my husband) yelling at her to “Put your hands down!” Hopefully she will learn how to use her shoulders better to push back.
I have been known to yell at the referees
This is not something I do a lot, but usually only do when I believe that the refs aren’t being fair and aren’t calling it both ways. And before you get the wrong idea, I’m not a “get in your face” kind of parent. I just might yell from the sidelines something like, “C’mon ref! That wasn’t a foul! Call it both ways!” If the referee ever said anything to me, I would be so mortified and would apologize and then keep my mouth shut. But, that has never happened, and let’s hope it never will.
I try to encourage, not coach from the sidelines
At the beginning of every season, the director of our soccer academy tells the parents to please only encourage your child from the sidelines. Do not try to coach them. Leave it to them to do the coaching. We, as parents, need only to yell encouraging words while they are on the field. It’s also confusing for the players when they are on the field to try to know who they should really listen to. You might tell them one thing, but the coach really wants them to do something else. We have to remind our children to listen to and respect the coaches. And I have to remind myself that I am the parent. I am not the coach.
I’m still learning soccer rules
Like I said, soccer is a new sport for me. And even though my children have been playing it for many, many years, there are times when I have to lean over to my husband or friend and say, “What happened? What did they just call? Why did they call that?” I’ll eventually get it all down one day.
I think offsides is the dumbest rule ever
I have finally learned what it means to be “offsides”. For those of you non-soccer folks…a player is offsides if they are on the opposing team’s side of the field and are closer to their goal line than the ball and the last opponent. Basically, you can’t be behind the last defender and have the advantage of scoring.
I played basketball growing up. We could be on the opposite side of the court, hurl the ball down to our player on the other end of the court, and they could score without having any defenders around them. Not so in soccer.
I get why there is the offsides rule. Players would just be “hanging around the goal” waiting to score. Not fair. I know that. But that doesn’t mean I have to like it.
I’m not a fan of Sunday games
As a ministry leader, I will say that I am not a fan of Sunday games. I don’t like the fact that it takes families out of church on Sundays. The church competes a lot with sports. And that’s a whole other topic for discussion. But, mostly, I don’t like Sunday games because I don’t get to see my children play on those days. I am the Director of Children’s Ministry at my church and my main day is Sunday. So, when there are games on Sundays (if they are in the morning or late afternoon), I can’t go because I have church services and activities. And for me that just stinks. I want to be there to see my children play, but I can’t take off every Sunday to go to their games.
I love our soccer family
My children played Rec soccer for many years. It wasn’t until last year that we began playing Academy and Select soccer. We travel to many different cities every weekend playing games. It’s during those times when you develop relationships with the other parents. You get to know them well, too. We have made some wonderful friendships with other parents all because of soccer. I am so thankful for our soccer family.
As a parent, I will ALWAYS encourage and support my children in whatever sport or extracurricular activity they participate in. I may get a little into it, but it’s only because I am so proud of my children and because I want them to know that I will always be their biggest fan (no matter how embarrassed they get). They are my joy and I thank God for the gifts He has given them.