I think it's pretty safe to say we have at least one boy who totally loves sports. With Drew I think it's still a little early to tell, although he definitely shows an interest in sports as well, but Zach is quickly becoming a sports fanatic. The past few days have been filled with soccer, golf, and even a little baseball, but his love doesn't stop there. Of course there's the racing he did a couple of weeks ago, and basketball and football from earlier in the year. I'm so glad he likes so many sports and does pretty well at them, too.
Saturday was Zach's first soccer game of the spring season. He has 2 boys on his team that he played with in the fall, and all winter long, he has talked about how Cade is the most aggressive boy on the team. Well, Zach must have learned from Cade, because he now is about as aggressive. He definitely is more focused and aggressive than he was last season. Maybe it helped to play a season of football and basketball to help him develop his ability to focus; I don't know.
The soccer team is U6, which means that there are kindergartners on Zach's team, and he's about the youngest one on the team, which is something we're getting very used to by this point. He still hung in there, though, and even though they don't keep score, Zach's team scored more goals than the other team, something Zach was quick to point out to us. The adults don't keep score, but the kids sure do! Zach even had his first hat trick, thanks to some quick thinking. He stepped in and intercepted 2 goal kicks to score 2 of his goals. The other goal, his first, was scored on a break-away, starting in this picture below.
You can kind of tell by this picture how Zach's size compares to some of the other kids. He and Cade (who is not in the picture) are definitely the smallest on their team. This picture is just before Zach shoots the ball and scores.
Never one to be too modest (something we're working on!), Zach quickly ran back to where Drew and I were to tell us all about the goal he had just scored. If you look closely, you can see that I'm pointing and telling him to get back up to the mid-field line, because the other team is about to kick-off and Zach is not in position. That's typical of Zach- he gets so caught up talking about his accomplishments (or anything, really- he's a talker, in case you didn't already know), that he nearly misses the next thing that's coming.
The most hilarious part of the game, which was not caught on tape, was when Zach showed us just how aggressive he has gotten. He and another boy (or probably all the boys- this is 4 & 5 year-old soccer, remember) were battling for the ball. Then the ball got away from Zach and this boy from the other team, and just as the play was barely moving on, Mike and I saw Zach throw an elbow! It was hard to tell if he actually made contact, but Mike and I both saw it and gasped and started laughing, hoping that nobody else saw it. I think Zach has been learning some dirty tricks from his Aunt Becky. Next game, he'll probably start pulling his opponents' shirts and taking dives.
It was a lot of fun to watch Zach's game; much more fun than last season, honestly. I would be lying if I said I don't care if he plays soccer when he's older (like high school age). Growing up playing soccer and still playing now, I really, really hope my boys develop a love for the sport like I have. If they don't, I know I'll get over it, but I still hope they just love it and excel at it, I really do.
Mike, on the other hand, would really love our boys to love and excel at golf. As much as I love soccer, I'm not nearly as obsessed with it as Mike is with golf. To Mike's great pleasure, Zach seems to be developing a great love for this game as well. I've been to the driving range with Mike twice this spring; Zach has been there at least 3 or 4 times. Zach has also been out to play 9 holes with Mike already, and I haven't even done that yet! Mike and our friend BJ went out to golf on Saturday afternoon, and as I was coming down the stairs just after they left our house, I heard Zach say to Drew, "Drew, Zach really wanted to go golfing with Dad and BJ, but Dad said Zach couldn't." Sigh. Well, lucky for Zach, he got to have a golf date with Dad the very next day.
This isn't the exact order in which these pictures occurred, but by putting them in this order, you get a nice little swing sequence.
Here is Zach addressing the ball with his driver. I think he totally looks the part in his little khaki shorts and his visor!
According to Mike and our neighbor Brad (who is a very good golfer), Zach has a great back-swing in this picture.
This picture is neat because Zach has just hit the ball, but it isn't out of the frame of the picture yet. Not a bad picture for a cell phone!
And last, the follow-through. We think this picture is cool just because of how the shaft on Zach's driver is bent.
Zach will be starting a Mighty Mites Golf Program early this summer, and he is very excited. It won't be long before he's a better golfer than me, though that wouldn't take a whole lot.
Finally, baseball. Baseball is one of the sports that I really could care less if Zach picks up. When I was a teacher, I heard so many stories from boys' parents about the long nights/weekend at baseball games, and that just doesn't appeal to me. I need a game with more action, like soccer or basketball. But, if baseball is the sport Zach decides he really wants to focus on, I will support him.
Zach LOVES our neighbors Chuck and Joyce. They are retired and in their 70's, I think. They spend the winter in Arizona and just came back before Easter, and boy, was Zach excited. They are wonderful to Zach and Drew, treating them like they are grandsons. Anyway, today we were outside and Zach asked if he could go visit Chuck, who we could see was working in his garage. I told him sure, and the next thing I knew, Zach and Chuck were outside, Chuck pitching balls to Zach to hit. We had to take a lunch break, and later on, after I'd put Drew down for a nap, Zach and I went out for some more baseball. Chuck was out again and immediately came over to do the pitching.
Zach did pretty well hitting the ball. T-ball starts in June, I think, and of course, Zach is excited. So Zach is currently in soccer and will be starting golf and t-ball in June, and I assume will get back into soccer and football in the fall, just before basketball starts in the winter. I realize this all sounds like a lot for an almost five year-old, but the good thing is that the seasons are short (usually a few weeks long), and there's never more than one practice and one game a week, and aside from golf and t-ball, the seasons don't really overlap at all yet. We never put Zach in something he doesn't want to do, either. I'm just so thankful Zach is able to have all these experiences so he can figure out which sports he enjoys the most, and hopefully Mike and I can keep our wishes not too obvious. Some sports I don't plan on introducing my boys to include hockey (nothing against it- I definitely enjoy hockey) and wrestling (even though Iowa seems like wrestling Mecca), and judging from the way Zach plugs his nose just to put his face half a centimeter into the bath water, I don't think he'll be one for swim team or water polo or anything like that. Originally I hadn't planned on football, but Zach sure does love it, so we'll see. I love to think about the future and wonder what, if any sport, he'll end up playing. I definitely can't help but picture the stadium my high school soccer team played in or my own high school gym where my sister and I played basketball, and I imagine Mike and me sitting up in the stands cheering Zach on. I'm not there yet with Drew, but give me a few years. I'm a little worried that if Drew can't take Lightning McQueen with him onto the field, he may never play any sports! :-)