This has nothing to do with Christmas festivities, but I realized I never wrote about Nathan's new soccer activity. And I have to record all this for posterity. Dammit.
Look, I really enjoyed Nathan's fall competitive outdoor soccer experience. (Well, it was sort of non-competitive, in that they didn't keep score, but I am labeling it competitive because it was a league where teams played games against one another.) He made tremendous progress during the season in terms of his engagement and enjoyment of the game. In the end, I think I can call his first soccer experience a success, and say that we all had fun.
But it was all a lot of work, too. Forcing him into his shoes and shin guards twice a week, parking a million miles away from the field for each game, at least three snack obligations, two end-of-season parties ... it was all kind of a lot to give a four-year-old an athletic experience.
In contrast, his post-season soccer clinic has been a breeze. Well, maybe Super Strikers Soccer isn't exactly a clinic--I don't want you guys to think we're grooming him for a soccer scholarship or something. It's more like a little class offered by the park district for ages 3-5, in which the kids practice various soccer skills and burn off some energy.
There are no games. I never have to bring snack. It's indoors, so no cleats are allowed, and nobody wears shin guards either. (I did put them on him the first day, but when I realized that (a) none of the other kids had them, and (b) there's no aggressive potential shin-hurting activity anyway, I stopped bothering with the shin guards.) It's indoors, and it's right down the street at a place with convenient parking. It's the perfect cold weather exercise activity for kids.
Also? Nathan loves it. Like, seriously, the kid who barely ever gets worked up about anything has said repeatedly, I love my new soccer.
The pictures I took at Super Strikers are kind of grainy, because I was far away and under florescent lights. But I think they demonstrate the ball-handling skillz Nathan is acquiring at Super Strikers.
The activities are usually tag-based, or else they tie in with popular children's licensed characters like Spongebob or Shrek. The final activity of the day is always dribbling to the orange cones. Under each cone is a gold coin. The kids have to dribble back with the coin and exchange it for a piece of fruit.
That's right--not only is this program super fun for one and all, it also gets my kid to eat fruit:
Unfortunately, the program is not offered in the winter, so we'll have to find a new way to burn off energy. I have some ideas in the works, but that's a story for a different day.