Sunday, May 15, 2011

Matthew and Soccer

One of the many new things that Matthew has been exposed to this spring, since starting school full time, is team soccer. He is, of course familiar with the concept. He's been kicking a soccer ball around the yard since he could walk. And he would come with me to watch his sister's soccer practice every week for the last two years. He would always grab one of the extra balls and kick it around while Embry practiced. And every couple of minutes I would have to pull him back off the field because he wanted so badly to join in.

So, when the opportunity came, we signed him right up. Here's some footage from the first after school practice. Because a lot of the kids have never played before, they are doing very basic stuff like dribbling the ball without using their hands. They are playing on the tennis courts because the it had just rained a whole lot that afternoon and the grassy field was a muddy mess.

Also, all of the kids ages 3 through 6 are playing together for the first practice. The coaches do this so they can sort them out according to ability and split them up into two groups for all of the following sessions.


video

So, as you can see, Matthew is engaged and seems really excited to finally be included.

Around the 3rd or 4th session, I started to notice a difference. When I would arrive to watch Matthew was no longer engaged with the other kids following instructions. He was sitting on the ground off to the side of the field... playing in the dirt. I would get his attention and tell him to go back to the group. He would reluctantly go back to the soccer, but after about 5 minutes, he would return to the dirt.

You see, Matthew has befriended another boy in his class. And together... they... are... trouble. And not just at soccer practice. Apparently, neither one of the cares too much about doing what everyone else is doing. Now to be clear, if the coach addresses them specifically, they'll grab their ball and return to the group. But, the two of them get bored real quick and spend most of the hour playing in the dirt, watching the older kids' group, and playing hide-and-seek.

Matthew's teacher has told me that the two of them continue this behavior in the classroom. She has much less patience than the soccer coaches, though. She constantly has to separate them to keep them from doing their own thing during group activities. Unlike Embry, who has always been concerned with being part of the group, Matthew (and his friend) don't seem to care.

We're talking to Matthew about listening to his teacher and not disrupting the rest of the class. But, I say, if he wants to be an individual, then go for it! Bill Gates is an individual, and I'm sure that Mark Zuckerburg was never the teacher's favorite.

1 comment:

Nick said...

I love the video! Embry was looking pretty sharp there as well!