I Think This Is How David Beckham Got His Start

  One of the experiments that has accompanied Lily’s foray into Kindergarten has been signing up for her school’s soccer program. It was Lily’s idea after hearing that some of her friends played and despite my strong hatred for soccer (sorry, we were just a football only town growing up) I thought it would be good for her to attempt something athletic and team sportesque.

Perhaps you recall my long illustrious career in athletics. You can revisit it in this post if you missed it. I also may have played softball for a few years in elementary school which consisted of alternately sitting on the bench, sitting in the outfield picking dandelions and standing at home plate praying for balls. I’m the person who sat out of gym class as much as possible and took “social dance” for a PE credit in college. Although I did rock at the Presidential Fitness Test throughout elementary, jr. high and high school. I think I even got some badges and held a record briefly. Ronald Reagan was so proud.

So my hopes have not been set too high. Lily is really young for Kindergarten and small for her age on top of that. Plus the teams are made up of Kindergarten and First graders which pretty much makes her a head shorter than everyone on her team. And so far she hasn’t really shown much athletic prowess in any way, shape or form.

The first practice and game were not encouraging. She seemed to kick the ball decently well, but didn’t seem to want to run much (again that could be genetic). And she never wanted to get near any of the other players much less steal the ball from anyone. Perhaps I should have stuck her sister on the field with some crappy toy that never gets played with. She always wants to steal those.

Anyway, the hubby and I tried to talk to her about the fact that you don’t have to be polite in soccer and how it is OK to steal the ball. She said she hated soccer cause she never got a goal and she wanted to quit. We calmly explained that to score you actually had to make contact with the ball at some point during the game and besides mommy and daddy already paid for the 8 weeks, plus soccer gear so you better start liking it missy. Actually I swear we weren’t that aggressive, cause frankly I am feeling her pain.

However during her second game last Saturday my hubby had a stroke of genius. During a warm up drill that involved trying to steal the ball from another player, we watched as Lily again stood off to the side avoiding the ball like the plague. The hubby called her over and said, “Lily, if you steal a ball today, I will buy you a small candy bar.” As she ran back to her teamates I add, “And if you make a goal, you get a BIG one.”

We looked at each other slightly ashamed that we had resorted to bribery and glad that no other parents were in ear shot. But you know what, she started to run a bit. And made a few attempts to get in on the action during the game. To be fair to her, as a whole, her team isn’t much on the aggressive side. They spend a fair amount of time jockeying for position to be the girl that gets to sit out. But she connected with the ball a couple of times and game off the field at the end of the game smiling and saying she liked it. And asking where her candy bar was. We bought one on the way home for effort and hustle.

If only my parents had bribed me for effort in sports when I was young who knows what could have happened. I could have been a contender. Then again, I probably would have still been faking injuries and hoping for a sympathy candy bar to come my way. Dramatics seemed to come more naturally to me.


  1. Don’t feel bad – we bribed our four year old son to get him to actually go in the pool at swimming lessons and play the games with his teacher. It works! And he discovered he actually likes swimming, so I’d say its definitely worth the $1 for chocolate. ‘Course, I buy me some, too!

    Andrea@Under Grace & Over Coffees last blog post..I thought it would last longer than this…

  2. Bribery can be a mom’s best friend……seriously…there are days I wouldn’t last without it!

    Katis last blog post..Rolaids, my candy of choice

  3. nicolerenae says:

    We did the same thing for soccer, only it was going out for ice cream. And it still took 3 games to get him to participate. But now he asks every day when he can play soccer again, even though we told him we aren’t going out for ice cream after every game, probably not again until the last game.

  4. The only bribery your father would have done would be to bribe you NOT to go out for soccer!!

  5. Jen@BigBinder says:

    That’s hillarious. My parents were deeply disappointed when I wanted to take ballet instead of play basketball, and was on the dance squad instead of a ‘real’ sport. I don’t think any amount of candy would have persuaded me. I’m so with Lily on this one. Once she sees past the bribery, send her over and I’ll start teaching her my old Pom Pon routines.

    Jen@BigBinders last blog post..Kent Harvest Trails

  6. Hubby and I aren’t much for soccer either. Or basketball.

    Looks like our girlie might be tall and people say “Maybe she’ll play basketball.” My response: “Or golf.” I’d rather see her play golf than either of the above!

    Heather @ Not a DIY Lifes last blog post..My Debut As…

  7. We called our seven year old son’s soccer games ‘swarm ball.’

    jubilees last blog post..Giveaway Alert!

  8. Bribery is not recommended, but definitely understandable.

    The majority of parents do try to bribe or unfortunately, threaten their children, when the child does not perform at expected levels.

    Keep in mind, at the end of the day, that kids are kids and need to enjoy the game at their level. The children will definitely grow into the sport and excel at their own level.

    Andys last blog post..Who Invented Soccer Blogwatch

  9. I like your blog title and summary, it caught my attention and made me laugh out loud!!

    Kaseys last blog post..I Love Kohl’s.

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