Katy Perry – Roar
A year of club soccer, and sometimes i wonder if G has gotten any better or learned any lessons at all. She is still so emotional and uneven, hitting glass ceilings and not improving, or much being inspired to.
is it her? the coach? the position? me? her mom? the team? the club? the sport? tinyAthlete-parenting does not get a lot of empathetic coverage on cnnsi.com… Outside of work, its the most stressful thing in my life. Applying to charter schools, for the chance to be balanced, fit, socialized, and popular. It may be more important than pure academics. Don’t fucking tell me its not important. No one wins by only being smart.
The fundamental training premise of soccer coaches is to throw little girls into small-sided death matches until they become immune to the bloodshed, bored with the carnage, the ego-centric play, the flexible rules and boundaries and goalies or lackthereof. Its UFC, without the alcohol or the betting, and it sucks for the fan – no one wins and you look super-dumb if you get psyched. Every once in a while i whistle to G and give her a thumbsup just cuz I’m getting pissed off by the endless sparring.
The Parents’ Seminar explained that soccer boils down to simplicity, even at the pro level. A friend who practices judo explained there is nothing more competitive than punching another guy in the face. A lot more real than calling your own fouls in Ultimate. G has probably swallowed more elbows in 2 years than I did in 20. But she’s given 2000% more. I totally get how confusing it is to run hard when nobody passes if they don’t know your name, how stupid it is to bang bodies if the sideline might or might not be 5 feet away; I have hit the hard ground in AZ thousands of times. I get how easy it is to play when everything is set up for success, how rarely that happens, how hard it is to play in a dust storm. What made me good was to tune out everything but the disc in the dust storm. I know what G needs.
At the Parents’ Seminar it was humbling to realize what i’d been doing wrong, but inspiring to see how easy it was to fix. My job is to get G to practice in a good mood, to show her support on the sideline, to get her home happy. Let the coaches do the rest. Tune out everything but the disc. I’m psyched the coach who told me this will be one of hers this season.
Now instead of talking about what she did wrong, i talk about the fun she had, and whittle, and expose all the everything else in the dust storm she needs to tune out. Why do you play? Did you make friends today? What did you learn? Are you stoked? Why do you play? How much fun did you have? Why do you play? Tune out the dust storm, tinyHuman.
I feel her trusting me more everyday. About soccer, school, the computer, behavior, us. Our conversations are so easy. Genevieve is my favorite person in the whole wide world.
Rule #1: Kill someone!
It started out much more nuanced. It started out: dont get nervous, have fun playing, sing a song.
G: Dafuck you mean, Dad?
ME: just play, have fun, just play ball, i donut know why kids donut pass and sidelines flexible and keeping scores are no bodys, in traffic, you know how i hate on the traffic.
G: Dafuck you mean, Dad?
ME: When you are lost, have fun! find the ball and GET it.
ME: you are stronger than most girls, blow a play up.
ME: KILL!! i have FunDip!
G’s is remarkable in space and flow, where fancy dribbling means less. Stronger and stouter than most kids, faster first step than most kids, ready for contact more than most kids. She reminds me of Ricky Williams, Steven Jackson, Anquan Boldin, but with a limpdicked shot. At tourneys she dominates the ‘attempts‘ stat, with a few trickled-in goals to show.
We are screwing around together before practice, having fun, and she is almost taking my head off. I never knew to hit your laces, i thought it was the side of the foot. And it is, for passing and control, but not for shooting. Somewhere in the 2 months since I’ve been nagging G to not strike with her toe she learned to use her laces, and I fell behind.
The very first time she nearly took my head off and I nagged her to not use her toe she swore she was doing it right, started crying, and i wondered what I had done so wrong? I acknowledged my failure in the face of empirical data, we asked not only Coach Angie but also Coach Robyn, and I sincerely apologized to G for my mistake. When is the first time you knew you knew more than your parents? Mine was somewhere in my teens. G is so much better for doing it 9 yeas earlier. The difference between me and mine is I was good with it. I even explained it to Beckie, cuz I know G finds validation in public divulgence.
We warmed up together before the next practice, and i nearly took her head off.
Rule #2: Sing a song to yourself
This one, she alleged, was easy. But a coupla weeks later i asked her what she sang, but she said she never did and didn’t actually know her psych song.
What? WHAT! This is worse than a vegan dragged to a team-building lunch at a Brazilian grill!
You cant have a psych song if you don’t know your psych song!!
I played her some of mine. Phunk Junkeez sounded old to her. She backtracked, she just doesn’t like rap. She liked the Offspring, really she did. I took a hint and blasted Katy Perry. Its very catchy, after playing it over and over I sang it to myself dropping GreenieMillie. She asked to wear her red practice uni even when she didn’t have to, cause she’d rather fit in. I totally get that, I hear her roar.
We were singing on the way to tryouts. They were really a formality, she would make one of the Blackhawks teams, and that was all that mattered.
I want you all tattooed I want you bad
Complicated X- rated I want you bad
I mean it I need it I want you bad
This isn’t inappropriate, I asked at least 7 little girls if they understood ‘double entendre’ and not a one of em raised their hands. Its a littleGirl Paen.