Author’s note: I just finished six weeks working with the Vienna Youth Soccer (VYS) Strikers, 3 teams of U14 girls soccer players who compete in WAGS and ODSL. They are professionally trained by Gerardo Ramirez, Elise Fasick and Andon Tsarev. They invited Fit2Finish to introduce soccer-specific fitness and injury prevention.
Dear Striker Parents,
You have a great group of girls. Really. I know they probably gripe and get moody and perhaps are even disrespectful on occasion. It’s because they’re teens and you have provided a safe place at home for them to “let it all hang out.” They need this.
But on the field, they are nothing but pure gold. They are fun and interested, engaged and engaging. They work really hard. They support each other. They say thank you. They say this sincerely. They shake your hand, give you a high five. They laugh. They are serious about their soccer. Whether they win or lose is really important to them, but not as important as knowing you are on the sidelines. Even I got the warm fuzzies when I came to a game. One said, “Now I feel loved.” Another stopped and waved, “Oh, hi!” Gotta love that.
I write this to you so you’ll get a glimpse of the best of these young women. Your young women. They don’t always wear these middle school years well. It’s a transitional time. When my girls were this age I found that I was especially grateful for the “other adults” in my kids’ lives: their teachers and administrators, their counselors, their coaches, even their friends’ level-headed parents. Whoever was there to “talk them off the ledge.” That, I figured out, is where most teens end up at one point or another. And you can’t blame them. It’s exciting out there, and you can’t beat the view.
But good kids don’t happen by accident. So, I’m just saying to you, “Well done.” Or in the vernacular, “Well played.” They appreciate all you are doing for them and the heart you have for them – even if they don’t say so. I got some of your thanks last week and I’m passing it along.
Athletics is such a great venue for kids, I think especially for girls, to learn about themselves. What they’re made of and what they can make, given some tools and some teammates. They likely won’t know until later the value of this time for them, but I’m sure the day will come. Right now, they’re on their way to greatness in a hundred different ways.
I feel privileged to have had this time and I look forward to seeing them on the pitch and the practice field again in the near future.
Coach (Dr.) Wendy