I grew up playing soccer, two seasons every year.  My dad coached either my team or my brother's team for several seasons, although his generation had never really played soccer.  But because of my own history loving the game, I didn't panic when my son's team was looking for a coach.


So now I am the coach of my 6 y/o son's “developmental” soccer team.  I love this approach to soccer: our job as coaches and parents is to give the kids a love for the game and to develop in them sportsmanship and healthy habits.  The league gave us a book by Tom Goodman (who has coached, played, and developed teams all over the country) to explain the philosophy of developmental soccer, developmental stages, and drills to teach skills.


A fellow homeschooler told me his theory that it's important to give children an identity as an athlete, whether it be swimming, baseball, running, soccer, cycling, walking… you get the idea.  The sport doesn't matter.  In fact, the competition doesn't matter nearly as much as the idea that “I am a soccer player.”  Then, when the child grows and no longer has an opportunity for “gym class,” she or he can return to her or his identity as an athlete, and pick up the game as an adult.  This identity is a gift that can give him or her a lifetime of health.  I know this is true in my and my husband's lives:  he is a runner and will always be a runner.  So even after a hiatus of months, he will just start running again, becaue he is a runner.  I don't have that identity.  I love many sports and like different forms of exercise, but there isn't one that is part of who I am.  I don't just go swim laps… I have to plan it and set goals for myself to do it.


I hope my children will learn love of a game, of being active and healthy.  This is the point of “P.E”, is it not?

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