Saturday was our first soccer jamboree (instead of 2 or 3 games a week, we play all day Saturday). What an experience! First off, let me tell you, it's haunting to go back now as a coach. I can't believe how much the girls remind me of myself and my friends at that age! It's really pretty scary. The other scary part is how much I remind myself of my dad when I'm out there telling them to "be more aggressive!". It is a lot of fun, though!
We got up early and headed to Seoul International School. 25 teenage girls and 3 coaches. Not a bad ratio (keep in mind I am the oldest of the 3 coaches!). Thankfully, our bus drivers knew where we were going because we certainly didn't! When we arrived on campus, we had to ask the girls where the soccer field was because we didn't know that either (2 of us are new to YISS this year, the other is entirely new to soccer). Once we got up to the field, though, things were pretty standard. Two fields back to back and a schedule of games and referees.
This is a very different middle school soccer program than the one I participated in, though. For one thing, it's weird to me that we only have practice twice a week (Mondays are reserved for Immersion meetings, Tuesdays for staff meetings, and Wednesdays for discipleship so that leaves Thursdays and Fridays available). Sports are definitely not the priority on this middle school campus. That has it's pros and cons. Secondly, we only have 3 weeks of games. Only 3 jamborees, so it's a pretty short season. Thirdly, (supposedly) the jamborees aren't competitive. No one is keeping score (officially). We play 7 vs. 7 on half fields for 20 minute games. The girls don't know many of the rules, so the only real rule is no hand balls. They're just learning how to do throw ins, and they have no idea when to do a goal kick versus a corner kick. We were surprised that our 3 teams did really well, even with their lack of skill and knowledge of the game. It turns out this is the norm around here. One of our teams won all 3 of their games and the others won at least 1 game. It is really entertaining to watch, and I can't wait to go to practice this week and see what Miranda has lined up for them!
This one is my favorite! Jana cheering, June hit in the face!
I am really enjoying the laid back schedule and less intense atmosphere that allows me to go to practice once a week and spend a few weekends getting to know these girls better. I'll be ready when the season is over, but for now, I'm enjoying my soccer Saturdays.