Soccer Tournaments

So Lona made the Rangers soccer team which means that she is in a highly competitive league which is good.  It also means money, travel and sacrifices.  They've been practicing since June and have participated in three tournaments with a talk about a fourth tournament.  I've been selected to be team manager which I'm not sure about. My feelings towards the program are mixed. Lona on the other hand loves it.  She's getting to know the girls and is making friends.  Isaac commented that he has no idea how she does it.  He says that she makes all the girls her friend and then they are friends with each other.  She's learned a lot about soccer and working on foot skills and passing. I just hope that we are doing this for her and not for our egos.  I worry that the program is about the parents, the directors, the coaches and the children are sacrificed.

The things I want out of this program for Lona is
1) to develop her soccer skills so she can play soccer the rest of her life.
2) to learn how to win humbly and lose graciously.
3) to learn how to work hard for herself and others (she is part of a team).
4) to have fun when appropriate and work hard when appropriate (there is a balance).
5) to not lose site of what's important (her relationship with God) and not get caught up with the stigma or the status of playing for this team.

I've been processing this for days now and am trying to come to grips with it.  On the other hand we've all had opportunities that have been very fun.  Job refereed a tournament at the Starfire Complex where the Sounders practice.  There he purchased an Argentina t-shirt and then saw DeAndre Yedlin.  "Mr. Yedlin, Mr. Yedlin!  Will you sign my shirt?"  he called out.  The guy just turned 21.  Marco Papa (another player) pipes up, "You know you're getting old when kids start calling you Mr."  Not old just respected.  Lona and Isaac asked Kenny Cooper, Stephen Frei, Mark Hahnemann if they could get selfies with them.  Opportunities.  They were all great sports.

At our last tournament our team didn't place where the coach wanted however I saw improvement, they scored more goals at that tournament then ever before.  They won a game.  They are starting to work as a team.  They just need more practice and it will come.

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