They’ve learned to not pick up the ball with their hands, amongst other things

Tonight I held the second practice for my girls’ soccer team. They passed the ball to warm up and then scrimmaged and then finished with penalty kicks.

They seemed to be getting it: there were five times as many goals scored during the match this time than last, they wanted to keep playing long past I was ready to go home and there is one girl who is starting to make her name as a goalie.

There were, however, just as many kicks out-of-bounds and rough play that dissolved into screaming matches as last time.

That this is a game and is meant to be fun seems to be the hardest thing for them to get.

Presenting the first Gouka girls soccer team

All through my elementary and middle school years, I spent two nights a week at soccer practice hating the coach that made us run passing drills and practice shooting and finally, spend the last half hour of practice divided into two teams to scrimmage each other.

I loved the game. I just hated the practice. I always wanted to be naturally good enough at a sport that I didn’t have to put the time and effort into making myself better at it.

I still love the game. There were moments during college when I begged my friends to pass a ball back and forth with me (oddly enough I was usually most successful when it was cold outside and I presented these games as “snow soccer”). Mia Hamm’s is still my go-to whenever I need a jersey number. And now, it’s me running the practices.