Pele…Beckham…O’Laughlin?

Well, okay – maybe elevating Liam to the dizzying heights achieved by soccer’s elite is a *bit* premature.  But, you have to start somewhere, right? And he has…

Last night was his first Pee Wee Soccer practice!

Now, this was a fairly momentous occasion, as it marked Liam’s first foray into “Team Sports”.  Since he’s the only kiddo at home, we’re hoping that as he grows he’ll enjoy the camaraderie that goes along with being a part of a team…although it’ll be fine if he’d rather do something individual.  Like, I dunno – fencing?

But, for now it appears he’s in his element with bunches of munchkins!  Per league rules we showed up to practice outfitted with the requisite shin guards and optional cleats, and in an odd way these pint sized athletes all recognized their cumbersome leg apparel as an instant sign of belonging. The fact that many of them (including Liam)  had never met each other was immaterial – there was bonding.  It was truly a sight to behold.

Now, Brian and I had expected a sort of free-for all at this age, but noooooooo sirree!  The coaches immediately had these 4 – 6 year olds doing DRILLS.  Dribbling.  Passing.  Weaving between cones.  Taking laps.  And through it all, Liam had a gleeful grin permanently affixed.  L-O-V-E-D it.

After they went full tilt for an hour, the obligatory orange slices appeared and were doled out to the players amid high fives and calls of  “Great job!” from the coaches.  As a sweaty, beaming Liam trotted over to us with his orange peel clasped in his teeth, I could see in Brian’s proud Papa grin the realization that his son had achieved a rite of passage.

Yup, that's Brian!

We’ll have three more weeks of Monday night practice, then four weeks of Sunday morning games.  Stand by for the “play by play”!

"Um, okay. Who's in charge here?"

First Drill - he took it all the way to the net. :)

Listening to Coach Paige.

"That goalie looks a lil' big, Ma..."

Team Meeting

6 Responses to Pele…Beckham…O’Laughlin?
  1. Robert
    May 4, 2010 | 11:45 am

    Liam looks as if he enjoyed it…and seemed to be the only attentive member. BRAVO!

  2. Jenn
    May 4, 2010 | 4:06 pm

    How adorable! He does look like he is having fun and I am also impressed that he is paying attention. Greg has a great story about his cousin’s nephew wandering off in the middle of a game when he was about this age to climb a tree!

  3. Tina
    May 17, 2010 | 2:20 pm

    Maria – is he sooo cute!! I’m so glad I found you blog spot once again. You do an fantastic job documenting Liam. I hope all is well with YOU! I’ll visit the site again soon.

  4. April A.
    September 17, 2010 | 4:26 pm

    Ri-I am having a fun afternoon checking out your blogs!

    See picture titled “Listening to Coach Paige.” Can you identify two new friends in the picture? The stern looking Mama in the striped T-shirt is me! And the little boyin the black t-shirt sitting on a ball on the far left is my boy Troy! We are not doing soccer this fall, but maybe tennis which starts in October. Is Liam interested in tennis? See you in the pick up line!

    • Mama Ri
      September 17, 2010 | 6:22 pm

      Ohmigosh! April – that’s a hoot! What a small world. (See? Evidently we’re destined to be friends. ;) ) I’m not sure Liam is coordinated enough yet for tennis – lol! Is Troy taking lessons at the JCC?

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