The moments that keep you playing (and watching)

Discussion in 'Youth & HS Soccer' started by CornfieldSoccer, Nov 9, 2018.

  1. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Just relaying one of those moments I watched last weekend as winter indoor cranked up.

    My son's club puts together mixed teams for short-term leagues over the winter at a local facility, so his team for the first of those "seasons" is a mix of kids from three (maybe four) teams in his club, including a player whose outdoor team is what amounts to a C team for mostly 2004s. The boy clearly likes the game and I think he would play whether he was in a club or not, but he's pretty limited in terms of skill or athletic ability.

    He was forced to play in goal for about a half and had what had to be the game of his life -- diving saves, kick saves, stopping shots at incredibly close range, tipped shots over the bar, great distribution, big cheers from his teammates, ... I think he allowed a couple of goals, but could have easily let in six or seven. You could tell that, even though he isn't a keeper outdoors, he's worked at it some.

    After the game, his dad (who I know a bit) was just over the moon, talking about his son really had been working on it at home, ... The dad's a soccer guy (he's not from the US) and I'm guessing has watched a lot of not-great youth soccer involving his son's teams over the years. This was the opposite of that. And when his son wandered up, they had one of those huge moments of pride that only come along in a parent-child relationship every now and then.

    I love seeing that sort of stuff.
     
  2. VolklP19

    VolklP19 Member

    Jun 23, 2010
    Illinois
    Anytime my kid is smiling and comes off a game or training excited just makes my day!
     
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  3. nysoccerdad

    nysoccerdad Member

    Apr 18, 2016
    Club:
    FC Barcelona
    True that. Every now and then I need to remind myself at U11 it is supposed to be fun for my boy.
     
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  4. mwulf67

    mwulf67 Member+

    Sep 24, 2014
    Club:
    Chelsea FC
    Just today a Facebook Memory popped up (someone else posted it)…three years running and it never gets old…

    Circa Nov 2015, KC…U13 championship game, 0-0 tie at full time…headed to PKs…my son plays CB and I figure he’s day is over; he’s 10th in line…

    Shortly after they all line up at mid-field and during the first round, the coach calls my son over...not really sure what’s going on at first…’til he starts slipping on a pair of goalie gloves…oh shit…

    After a momentary conversation of Is this even legal?, my son steps into goal…9 shots later (he blocked at least 4)…it’s my son’s turn to shoot; if he makes it we win…nails it!

    Like I say, that moment will never get old nor forgotten…

     
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  5. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    Same here. No matter how big or small a thing it is that's behind that smile.

    Wulf, that story's awesome (and good grief I wouldn't want to parachute into keeper like that). My son's been on the other end of your PK joy, twice having deciding PKs saved in tournament finals in the span of a recent year. But a younger version of him would have just wilted under those circumstances. He's learned the hard way to get up and keep going (and I liked that he was willing to step up in the first place). BTW, those video links just give me an error message.
     
  6. NoVa.Dad

    NoVa.Dad New Member

    Real Madrid
    United States
    Nov 19, 2018
    Very similar situation, preseason tournament U12. I'm coaching, my son is playing in goal all game. It came down to penalty kicks. He's now a dedicated goalkeeper.

     
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  7. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    I knew someone started a happy-talk thread a while back. Turns out it was me (I'm getting old).

    I'll add one from this week about my own 2005 son. He played every minute of his team's three tournament games over the weekend, which isn't uncommon (he's the only kid on his team who does this -- he plays left back and, even though he spends close half his game up the field, few kids want to play that spot; he's also pretty fit and a reliable player).

    It absolutely wore him out, leaving him sore, stiff, ..., to the point that I suggested this week that he talk to his coach and ask if it's possible in tournament games to come out for five or even 10 minutes a game.

    My son came unglued -- No way do I want to come out, I'm not giving up my spot, ... I knew he took pride in it, but had no idea how deeply he felt about it. I can't deny it was a proud moment.

    Now to get him to do it anyway, because that's a whole bunch of soccer over two days for a kid who is now a full-sized human being. And this didn't even involve a fourth game.
     
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  8. Terrier1966

    Terrier1966 Member

    Nov 19, 2016
    Club:
    Aston Villa FC
    State cup final: had lost previous two years in final in upsets both times. In OT against another underdog...collars are already tight.

    PK called for us. Everybody stands there. One regular PK taker picks up ball and turns to the other regular who is staring at his cleats. The first guy looks like he’s wishing he never picked it up. My son runs up from back line position, takes ball out of kid’s hands, slams it on the spot and takes three steps back, waving teammates away.

    First PK he had ever taken for this team. Slammed it home and they got the monkey off their back.

    Sure, winning was great but I was more enthused about his reaction given the weight around their necks.
     
  9. Cantona's Eyebrow

    Dirty Leeds
    Togo
    Oct 8, 2018
    The sound of the ball hitting the back of the net, the smell of liniment oil, the sight of a team in total command of a game, the clatter of boots and the round of applause. Victory.
     
  10. HScoach13

    HScoach13 Member

    Nov 30, 2016
    Club:
    Atlanta
    About a dozen or so years ago I was in my first year of being a head coach of a boy's middle school team. We were visiting a team that we had beaten soundly at home. I think it was 5 or 6 to 0 or 1. We had thrashed them. We got off the bus and I overheard one of our players talking about who was going to score a goal etc. We got on the field and played horribly. About five minutes before half time the home team scored on us. We continued to play horribly finally with about 10 minutes left in the game we woke up. We began to dominate the game but could not get the ball in the net. We won a corner kick in the dying minute of the game and scored on it, to tie the game 1-1. The joy the kids showed.... You would have thought they won the World Cup. The ball was placed at the center circle and the play was started just long enough for the ref to end it... This will be a memory that I will keep to my dying day.
     
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  11. CornfieldSoccer

    Aug 22, 2013
    The various versions of my son's club team took a lot of pretty hopeless beatings at u10 and u11 as they learned to play. By u13, though, they were becoming pretty competitive against fairly high-level competition and learned, for lack of a better way of putting it, to be better than the sum of their parts.

    But the core of that team has always, always started games slow. At younger ages that meant deficits they just couldn't overcome. But as they improved they started making a habit of coming back, and I've seen them do it now maybe a half dozen times over the past two years, several of those in "must-win" situations (musts if they wanted to stay alive for tournament finals, anyway). It's always more or less the same -- the other team thinks, with good reason, that it has the game won at 3-0 or 4-0 by halftime, and our kids storm back. And, yeah, you'd think they'd just won the World Cup. Never gets old (except for that slow-start part).
     
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