We kicked off our 2006 Spring season last night and it was brutal! Our fields are currently on the outfields of 4 full size baseball fields arranged in an overall circle (outfields outward) Part of the complex is raised up a significant amount above the surrounding tree levels, so the wind blows pretty intense across the two fields where we play U8 through U12. Last night was no exception! With wind gusts hitting 15-20MPH and temps in the upper 30’s, it was a pretty intense setting for a match. Our kids were bundled up in blankets on the bench, but the wind was coming from behind them – they finally huddled on the ground in front of the bench to stay warm. My poor daughter came off the field like an ice cube. It wasn’t the cold temps – we had been practicing in those all through February. It was the wind – it was just howling and fairly constant. As expected here in NC, it was 78F yesterday – go figure.
We were very proud of them – they toughed it out but it was clear that the weather was affecting them. They were very sluggish and not fighting for the ball like they usually do. Facing a team with many fast runners who seemed immune to the cold, we got beat handily. So lots to work on this week at practice! They played hard but just lacked their usual drive to get the ball.
Yes, I know I was just advocating how cool matches in the snow were, and I still do. Anyone who plays Spring soccer knows the weather is a roll of the dice. Here in NC, its usually freezing rain and ice we have to deal with. The only change is that we’re playing more Friday evening matches than ever due to the growth in the league. It can still be rather chilly at 9AM on a Saturday when we usually start, but the winds have often died down. The good news is that our new soccer complex has tall trees around half of it which will give it some shelter – but it is also built up significantly on one end facing the rolling hills. So if the wind comes from that direction – it’ll still be pretty intense.
I find it ironic though. We always have a few parents who hate the weather and ask why we even bother playing in the Spring because of the weather challenges. We always tell them that our Spring league is always bigger than our fall league. Year after year. Its not like we’re forcing their kids to play – but for all the grousing about the weather – if we have a Spring season, they will come!