Today was the first game day of the soccer season for both of my kids and so far soccer has provided me with a very interesting experience.  I never thought that you can like and hate a sport at the same time, but with everything that I have been going through, it is understandable.  The best way to explain it is by dividing it by soccer teams.

My son’s team
When they had sign-ups, I stupidly volunteered to be the team parent only after I told the coach I was the team parent for my daughter’s team.  There’s a lot to do paper-wise like submitting scores, organizing volunteers, and stuff like that.  I really don’t mind it.

Then the coach sent an email looking for volunteers to monitor the games saying that if we didn’t have enough game monitors, they couldn’t play.  Here’s where I think I got duped.  I sent an email back saying that if no one else did it, I would, but only on a limited basis because I also had my daughter’s team to deal with.  I thought I would just stand on one side calling when the ball was outside or when it was a goal.  He tells me I have to go to a class, so now I’m an official US Soccer licensed referee.  Too many rules to know.

Come to find out, I could have done it the way I thought, but since now I’m licensed, I have to do it the actual referee thing.

What I like:– The parents are really great at supporting their kids during the game without yelling at them or the referees throughout the game.
– Being a team parent.
– Coach takes his time instructing the kids about the basics of soccer.
– Coach is very patient with the kids.
– The boys are great with each other.

What I don’t like:– Since some of the kids have been playing together for years, they have formed a little “click,” so it is hard to fit in.
– The referee thing.
– The coach seems a little reserved and unfriendly even though he smiles at you.

My daugther’s team
The coach decided to have a meeting before practices started, so we could get to know each other.  Here’s where I got involved with my “Team Parent” volunteer thing, because no one else signed up for the position and I was the only one who did.

As practices progressed, the coach turned out to be very friendly and you can tell he likes to have fun.  I have even helped during a few of the practices.

What I like:– The parents are really great in welcoming all newcomers to the group even though their kids have been playing together for a few years.  I am part of the group.
– The coach is really friendly and talkative with players and parents alike.
– The coach has me do a lot more to help him out.
– Some of the parents and I joke about the other being the Assistant Coaches, but actually do step up to the plate to help out.
– The girls are really great with each other.

What I don’t like:
Some of the parents during the game are rude (which is weird since they are really good during practices).  They yell at the kids what they should be doing and what they are doing wrong.  And, yell to the referees mean things.
– These parents take away the “game is for fun” aspect.

I guess this is why I like and don’t like the sport.

So, if I have to choose one team over the other, I choose my daughter’s team because overall, the ambiance is much friendlier even though I want to get rid off some of these parents when games are played.  And I’m sure if I didn’t have to do the referee thing for my son’s team, it probably would have been a tie.