Ava went to her very first soccer practice today. She's been looking forward to this day for weeks and couldn't stop talking or asking about it today.
The little soccer program she's in is great! It's for 3-4 year-olds and focuses on very basic skills: kicking, stopping, dribbling, throwing the ball in. Ava's team is the Seattle Sounders. They wear green shirts. I was sure she'd have a little issue with the color of her shirt, however, she told me that since her soccer shorts had pink on them she was okay. PHEW!
The kids break up into little groups and spend about 10-15 minutes at three different stations. Ava started at the kicking station where I discovered that she much prefers to kick with her left foot. We kick the ball around in the backyard on occasion, and she usually just kicks with whatever foot is closest to the ball, but today, in an organized setting lefty prevailed.
She was so cute winding her little leg up to kick her size three ball (with pink designs, of course). If the ball didn't go where she wanted it to, she simply picked it up and moved it into the position that would provide her the best shot at the goal. It was only the first practice, right? She'll get the hang of it. She did have some great kicks and even "scored" a few goals.
Her favorite activity was throwing the ball in. She did so well, staying behind the line, keeping her feet planted and using both hands to throw the ball in, and quite far I must add. While at this station, she was supposed to throw the ball in and then run onto the field, where I would kick the ball to her and she would stop it. The first few times, she used her hands to stop it. After her coach and I reminded her that we don't use our hands on the field, she got creative and began picking the ball up between her elbows. Eventually though, she got the hang of it and had some great traps with her feet.
*You can hear Jax in the background in this video. The little guy wanted so badly to play with his sister. We brought him a ball of his own, but it just wouldn't suffice because it wasn't what the big kids were using.
Ava was pretty pooped at the end of practice. But, told me she can't wait to go back next week. That's my girl!