Just when you were comfortable with your weekends free to do whatever, so begins another season! And there was much rejoicing! As luck would have it, we had beautiful weather in January with temperatures often hitting 60 or 70. As soon as practices started – yup – frigid temperatures, wind, rain, even a little snow. So we’ve squeezed in practices whenever it was warm enough not to turn everyone into statues, which hasn’t been often.
While the beginning of our Rec matches is still a week away, Challenge matches kicked off this weekend. So this past Saturday, Eldest (on the left in a picture from last Fall) and the rest of the family hopped in the minivan and headed to Yadkin County’s YMCA. What a beautiful complex. The two soccer fields are at the bottom of a sports complex that is built into rolling hills, with a modern Y facility and war memorial at the top. I bet it is beautiful when the trees are green.
Anyway, our team took the field and promptly got scored on. Twice. The starters seemed to be sleepwalking, but they also seemed somewhat disoriented. After the second goal, our coach pulled everyone but the keeper to find out what was happening.
"Guys – what’s going on?" asked the coach.
"Coach! They keep talking to each other in Spanish! We can’t understand them so we don’t know what they’re going to do!"
I wish I had a camera to take a shot of our coach’s face. Half of our parents who were sitting near the bench were in hysterics. See the other team had a few Hispanic players on it and they had been talking back and forth on the field in Spanish. We haven’t had much luck attracting many Hispanic children to our local league (though we’re still trying to – but that’s for another post) so the kids hadn’t really ever encountered that before (they’re all U9s and U10s so this is their first travel year)
After shaking his head for a bit, our coach finally stated the obvious. "Well if they were speaking in English, do you think they’d be telling you what they were going to do next? Don’t worry about what they’re saying and concentrate on how they’re playing."
We tried not to laugh too hard but it was funny. It’s not like the kids were that sheltered that they had never heard Spanish before. But it was the first time they had multiple players on the field with them yelling to each other in a different language and it clearly freaked them out a little bit. They settled down after that and managed to pull off a 3-3 draw. Eldest chipped in the final goal over the keeper from a teammate’s sweet cross as time wound down – Soccer Dad was so proud. Anyway, it was a good thing for the kids to learn that they can’t always rely on verbal cues from opponents to react – they need to use their eyes and judge what the opponents are going to do from body language, their eyes, etc.
Apologies to our readers who are fluent in Spanish – I’m sure the title isn’t exactly right. The extent of my Spanish is what comes out of Google’s translation tool which I know is rarely correct grammatically.