I have to admit that one of the more enjoyable parts of being so involved in youth soccer is watching parents deal with this thing called youth soccer for the first time. They arrive at the complex for the first time to see a parking lot of wall to wall mini-vans and huge flat fields packed with kids, soccer balls of every color, orange cones, parents, and coaches. Total mayhem. Then they get the paperwork (“I didn’t have to sign this much paperwork when bought a house!”). Eventually things calm down and everyone feels like they’ve gotten the hang of things.
Then it gets cold.
For those of you who don’t know, youth soccer is played in the Fall and Spring. Seasons vary by league and region, but for the most part the Fall season starts in August and runs though October and often into early November (usually in southern states). Spring seasons start either in February or March and often run into May/June. This means, for a sizable part of the US, playing in cold weather.
Now, it’s one thing when it’s sunny out and 50 degrees Fahrenheit in the early afternoon. It’s a whole other story when it’s 50 degrees, drizzling, and 8AM. Field space is ALWAYS at a premium. Rescheduling matches can be VERY difficult so one of the first things you realize is – if it’s not thundering and the field isn’t a swamp – play on. So when it gets cold out, new soccer parents face a new reality they hadn’t planned on. Standing on the sidelines in the middle of a wide open flat space (meaning it’s usually windy) watching their pride and joy play soccer in sub 50 degree weather. The kids usually don’t care – they’re bundled up and running around staying warm. Not so the parents. Welcome to soccer!
So the evolution of a soccer parent is always fun to see. Even more so when they never thought they’d be on the soccer sidelines in the first place. Which brings us to the point of this post (there always is one eventually).
I stumbled across another Soccer Mom blogger whose posts on soccer AND life are hilarious. Say hello to Baseball Mom.
[pause for effect]
Yes you read that correctly. You see, Baseball Mom lived and breathed baseball with her older son. Her blog’s masthead was aptly ‘Who the F#%@ needs soccer?’ Then it happened:
It seems, people, that I may become (GASP!) a soccer mom. What in the everloving hell, you say? I mean, have you seen my masthead? Whoa. Yes, Alex, who is now 4 1/2 has informed me (several times) that he wants to play soccer. “On a soccer team, mom.” He says this with an expression that implies that he thinks I am clueless as to what he is trying to tell me. Der. I mean on a TEAM, mom. I asked him if he wanted to do a soccer class at the Y with 2 of his other friends from preschool? NO. No fucking way. ON. A. TEAM.
Game. Set. Match. But wait, it gets better. Her older son who has played baseball decided that he too wanted to try soccer during the baseball off-season:
OH, and Tyler? Is suddenly interested in playing soccer too. I am actually happy about this, because I feel that he will benefit from playing other sports in the off-season, and he does soccer, basketball, softball, flag football, and track intramurally at school, and likes them all. So, I may have 2 boys playing soccer this fall. Carrayzee. I guess that means I’ll have to find out what “small side” means.
Ah yes. Small side. We touched on small side here and here. As you can see, Baseball Mom writes with flair and spice – a lot of fun to read. So you just knew her first soccer practice would be fun. But who knew it would involve a kid on a leash? You have to read this section – it should be required reading for all parents who you know that are stepping close to that line of psycho parent. Baseball Mom nails it:
There was psycho dad. He was, of course, right next to us-and this was a moot point because EVERYONE could hear him-with his little tiny oriental wife, and a kid who looked about 4 but was HUGE, and was ON A LEASH!!! This little kid was so wild, and he communicated in grunts, shrieks, and by hitting his poor little mom on the boobs when he didn’t get his way. Psycho dad kept hauling him up off the ground by the leash, and threatening to tie him to the fence “like an animal” if he didn’t settle down. NO lie. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure there are reasons to have your kid on a leash, and don’t think I haven’t thought about it from time to time, but ummmmmm, no. Psycho dad sort of tried to help little mom for awhile, then decided that she had things under control (yeah) so he watched his boy, MJ, from what I gathered, and gave us all a running commentary on everything. We heard all about how he played soccer for 11 years in Germany, and how you’ve not PLAYED soccer until you’ve played in Europe, and how MJ was going to get a good soccer ball-a Diadora, or an Adidas, or a Mercedes (kidding) ball. Also, he gave MJ a running commentary too. Here’s a sample of what this poor 4 year old had to listen to, during his first time playing soccer.
“MJ, PAY ATTENTION, STOP SPINNING AROUND IN CIRCLES. MJ! MJ! KICK THE BALL! MJ, PAY ATTENTION, STOP KICKING THE BALL NOW, THE COACH SAID STOP, STOP MJ! MJ! STOP SPINNING AROUND, WHAT ARE YOU DOING, LISTEN TO YOUR COACH, MJ! MJ! PAY ATTENTION, KICK THE BALL! STOP IT WITH YOUR OTHER FOOT, NOT THAT ONE, MJ, MJ! STOP IT! MJ, LOOK AT THE COACH, MJ-NOT ME, LOOK AT THE COACH AND LISTEN TO HER!!! MJ, MJ! KICKTHEBALL LISTENTOTHECOACH STOPSPINNINGAROUND WHATAREYOUDOING PAYATTENTION!”
Un, fucking, believable. I felt so sorry for the kid. I remember playing sports, and I was embarrassed to death for the kids whose parents did that. I am the first one to be out there, cheering my kids on, organizing things, etc., but never, never would I do that to them. Dude, he is fucking 4! I hate to watch this, because that kid is gonna hate sports after awhile…he’s not good enough for daddy no matter what, and it is a crime. I am not going to try and pretend that my kid is the best one on the field, and I know that T especially has had to work for everything he’s ever gotten on the baseball field…I recognize that and I try to ENCOURAGE HIM, not badger him and make him feel like shit. I hope that guy learns to shut up, or some day MJ is going to grow up and kick his ass! [ed: emphasis added by me]
One thing I’m curious about, since my kids don’t play baseball, is if parents can be just as bad at baseball games. I know for basketball, which our eldest plays, things are much calmer in the stands. While soccer doesn’t have as MANY psycho parents as many believe, they do exist. Just wondering if they are as common in other sports like baseball. Hopefully Baseball Mom will write about that (she may already have). The sad part is – we’ve all seen parents like this, though I admit, the leash was a new thing. I’m going to have to self flagellate or something because after I read that I couldn’t help but thinking ‘Oh yeah a leash could come in handy for [insert name of out of control kid with clueless parents here]’ BAD Soccer Dad. No Biscuit!
Oh wait, you think the fun ends there? No no. You’re probably wondering why I wrote about cold weather so much above. Well, Baseball Mom continues her Soccer Mom chronicles with a post on soccer in the cold:
Well, if I learned one thing this weekend, it’s that soccer is damn cold. T had his first game on Sat. morning, at 9 am, which meant being there at 8:30, especially since I had all of the shirts (I took them to be printed). Saturday morning was not rainy, but it was sort of gray and foggy, which meant that it was freezing as hell. We stopped at ‘bucks to get some lattes first, and by the time I finished passing out the shirts, my PSL wasn’t hot anymore, and I wished I had asked for “extra hot”. I will know next time to bring a blanket, for sure!
Read the whole thing, because she continues on with highlights of Trailer Trash Mom antics on the sidelines (Not to be confused with White Trash Mom – BIG difference). Soccer sidelines are never boring, and of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t bring up ‘The Muffia‘. Oh and did you notice how she went from Soccer Mom spectator to volunteer? I’m betting she’s ‘Team Manager’ within weeks if she isn’t already
So there you have it. Yet another Inner Soccer Mom is revealed. Welcome to the BlogRoll Baseball Mom! My sides still hurt from reading some of your posts!