Saturday, July 4, 2015

Soccer Dad's Thoughts - as the Summer Begins

     I have spent the majority of my life as a soccer dad.  I try not to think of my age too much – but the simple math is that for more than half of my life I have been a soccer dad.  We “Soccer Dads” don’t get to be called a political voting group like “Soccer Moms” … but if you hang with it long enough – you may get to go through what I have gone through lately.

     With three boys and coaching each since they were 6 years old (fortunately for them abdicating that role once they reached 14 years old) – I drove my share of minivans and SUV’s to tournaments hundreds of miles away --- and then cleaned out the cars late on Sunday evenings when we finally got home. 

     Now compare that to now when I get to travel with the US Team families in Brazil, I get to sit at Avaya Stadium – 40 minutes from my house – and watch my oldest play.  I get to watch my son, Stephen coach the Earthquakes Academy teams, and so much more.  My soccer dad life today is something I could have never imagined and something that I will be forever eternally grateful.

     But I don’t mind thinking back to Sunday evenings when I was cleaning out the car and fishing French Fries out from underneath the seats so that I could drive my commute down to work on Monday morning in a car that was not a rolling junk yard after a weekend tournament that included 400 miles and an overnight in a charming motel in Fresno.  

    Today – I was thinking about my life as a soccer dad.  A role that has lasted longer than most roles I have ever played in my life.  And last night I watched my oldest son score his 10th goal for the United States Team in International Competition.  Most people would say it was not the most brilliant of goals – but most people would not be talking about their son scoring his 10th goal for the United States Team in International Competition.

     Chris’ first goal in soccer probably happened about 3 minutes into an Under-8 game when I had him playing Under-8 at barely 6 years old.  But for reasons that only I will ever understand – this 10th goal for the United States Team in International Competition is my favorite. 

     But the point to this blog (if it had a point at all) … is that last night as I went to sleep I started thinking about those Sunday nights of pulling all of the stuff out of the car after a weekend tournament – and realizing now what I should have realized then --- the wise soccer dads embrace those times because they will be some of the best memories they will ever have.  More than the goals and more than the wins … the crazy routine family moment matter – to everyone involved.

     And … because my son Matt always tells me that (a) he does not read what I write and (b) he is never mentioned.  He was our star goalkeeper for the Mustang White Buffaloes when we won State Cup 14 years ago.  Shutout 2-0.  Chris and I were the coaches and we rode Matt to the championship --- well, like a Buffalo.