An Intergalactic Superhero Moment - Soccer Training

Posted on October 27, 2015
Last night, I had one of those "my kid is learning all the right things" moment. These are rare, like spotting a shooting star at the exact moment it's streaking across the sky. And maybe, hopefully, just like shooting stars, there are more than those of which I'm aware.

So, let me get down to the guts of this moment. Two of three soccer coaches are gone this week, and the last coach announced he might have to cancel practice this week because he has to work late. The parents bemoaned. The kids hated this, especially because there is a big game on Saturday against a tough team.

Then, my son, in front of everyone, raised his hand and said, "My mom can coach!" He went on to say how I can juggle the ball 'a lot' without letting it drop, and how I can run fast and kick really hard....

I beamed, both a bit embarrassed and a with loads of pride.

Here is some background...

We live in a predominantly Latino community where most of the parents originated from a country where women are not encouraged to play sports as much as the boys, where the teaching of soccer is part of the father's responsibility, something left to "los hombres", and where gender roles are still very traditionally defined.

I am consistently worried that my son will pick up on these archaic gender definitions. Apples don't fall far from the tree, as they say, and the boys on the teams all talk and influence one another. They tell my son, "my dad this" and "my dad that." My son once asked my husband why he doesn't play in the fathers games on Friday nights. My husband, the awesome guy he is, replied, "I don't like soccer, but Mommy might want to play. She's a great soccer player."

I really am not. I only started to learn the game last Spring when my son came down with soccer fever. It started last year during the 2014 World Cup, and this year it's gone crazy. Being a big proponent of practicing what I preach, I decided to start playing. I went online and learned techniques myself so I can show my son techniques. I don't just tell him to run faster, I run with him and show him how to train to run faster. I even sit with him to watch videos of other kids training because he wants to get better. I'm a part-time personal trainer for my kids - just another task on my to-do list:

2:00 - Food Shopping
3:00 - Pick Up kids from school
3:30 - Homework / Study
5:00 - Soccer Training with my son
6:00 - Softball Training with my daughter
7:00 - Dinnertime

Below is one of the videos I showed my son on how to juggle the ball. I just now realized it was a woman. For me, it's so natural to see women play sports that I never thought anything of it. I'm sure several videos I've shown my son has women in them, and I know this has affected my son's perception of women in soccer.



Anyway, I didn't bother with the fathers game - my job isn't to try and shake up the current state of affairs. My job is to make sure my son, and any kid within earshot, doesn't grow up with that mindset. And he isn't. Knowing the other dads all play soccer, and even with the other boys saying their dads can coach, my son still believed I should coach.

Unfortunately, only licensed coaches are allowed to train a team in the town's turf fields due to insurance reasons. So, no practice this week. But, when we got home, my son insisted I get my coaching license.

Who knows. Maybe I will.



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Any Intergalactic Superhero moments on your end? I especially love gender-role-breaking stories. Please share!!! Feel free to take my memes for use on your own on your blog sites. I love creating these images.




2 comments:

  1. That's a great story! You sound like an amazing mom. I love that you learned soccer right along with your son so you could teach him. How awesome is that? You truly are an intergalactic superhero! :D

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    1. Oh I'm not taking credit for teaching him - that kid's learned it on his own. Juggling a ball is not what makes a good soccer coach, but in learning to play I can point things out to him to help him get better. I've still got loads to learn.... :-)

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