Could Soccer Burnout Be in Our Near Future?

SoccerBurnout_IMG_8496 copySchool just began and we’re all still getting used to the routines. That, unfortunately, included a few days at home sick for one of my girls after the long Labor Day weekend. Ugh. And though the other one didn’t stay home ill, the effects of her bad cold and sore throat still lingered each day at school. To top it off, she’s the one with the intense almost-everyday soccer schedule. I am Mommy, so I worry.

MK’s Tues/Thurs soccer practices with her comp team expanded to optional skills practices on Wednesdays and goalie practices on Fridays. Now, you might ask, why did I sign her up for the additional two days? Well, basically, that was what MK wanted to do. She loves soccer and if given the chance, she’ll play everyday. But I wonder if it’s one of those things that I, as Mommy, should regulate for her. I mean, she doesn’t understand the concept of burnout. She is 9 years old with an endless source of energy and enthusiasm for the sports she plays.

I kinda think that this much soccer at such a young age is a bit much…isn’t it? In fact, I think that this much playing of any sport at this young age is a bit much. Oh yea, I know that the best players in many sports – tennis, swimming, soccer, football, basketball, etc. – started playing when they were very young. The question is, how much did they really compete?

I’d read a long time ago that the father of Venus and Serena Williams kept them away from tournaments when they were very young in order to ensure that they developed gradually and didn’t burn out quickly. I wonder, should I be doing a similar thing?

I’m not saying that MK will be the next Mia Hamm or Hope Solo (who knows?) but generally speaking, should I start curbing how much time she’s spending on this one sport? There are many other sports I’d like her (and her sister) to try out – tennis, basketball, field hockey, swimming – that a year-long commitment to soccer pre-empts. At least we’re still making time for Tae Kwon Do.

Anyway, I guess we’ll see what the end of this first year on the comp soccer team brings. December is the end of the year-long commitment and if she hasn’t burned out by then, maybe this will be her sport…and maybe I won’t feel so guilty about it…a few years from now.

SoccerBurnout_Collage1 SoccerBurnout_Collage2

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog by Mommytwingirls.

Zero Heroes and First Best Friends and Second Best Friends and…

I was having a conversation the other day with my girls. Storyteller was rattling off all the friends she considered her “first best friends.” When she finished, I was wondering about her sister. Why didn’t she mention her sister?

“Oh, she’s a zero hero,” she replied. I was quite curious about the distinction.

“It’s like she’s more than a friend. She’s my sister, so she’s more than that. I only have one friend that’s a zero hero besides Songwriter,” Storyteller explained, “Everyone else is a first best friend or a second best friend or a third best friend or a regular friend.” She looked at me with that patient teaching look in her eyes.

“Oh, I get it,” I said…no I didn’t. When does the “regular friend” actually kick in?

“You know, Mommy,” Songwriter said, “Charlotte pushed me down to regular friend. I used to be her zero hero and then she made me a first best friend and now I’m all the way down at the bottom. A regular friend,” she said with bits of anger and sadness combined.

So, the discussion continued. I explained how friends may change from grade to grade. I explained how she may change each year and that she can have more than one or two friends. I could tell she was still stung by her former zero hero’s change of heart and sorting of her in the circle of friends.  heavy sigh  I knew when this all happened. I saw it happening toward the end of the last school year. And I was glad the summer had come.

But now, the summer is ending and school starts next week. New classrooms, new classmates, new teachers. I’m not as worried this year about Songwriter as I was last year. It seems all the first graders got to know all the other first graders not in their classrooms during recesses and lunch breaks. I’m kinda hoping that Songwriter’s former zero hero is not in her classroom this year so she could start to know other kids. But hey, this is one of those times when I just have to let things happen.

Original post to It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog.

Weekend Getaway to Disneyland

Christmas Fantasy Parade (1104-DL-9999)
(photo courtesy of Disneyland)

“This is the best hotel ever!” exclaimed Songwriter as she watched yet another fireworks display explode in the distance from our hotel window. Munching on room service in the Grand Californian Hotel as we ate dinner last night, our little weekend getaway (courtesy of Disneyland, my connection to Silicon Valley Moms Blog and active writing on our family blog) has already sparked a little magic for our girls. And for me, a trip down south to Disneyland to enjoy the opening of the Christmas holiday festivities, is just one of those things I’ve wanted to do for many years…an idea that has laid dormant in the back of my mind. Until now.

But now, I’m a blogger; a mommy blogger at that. I have children. We love to travel and both Truls and I LOVE Disneyland. We have only fond memories of childhood trips to this park and it’s something we want our girls to share. Sure, we’re alerted to the over-commercialization of Disney-fied fairytales but that’s a daily worry with many things other than Disney. And a trip to the park is always something special.

So, here we are – our second trip this year (the first being on the girls’ birthday in March). And we’re all excited and can’t wait to run around the park in all its holiday glory. Yea, we’ve already been here this year but I’ve heard so much about what Disneyland does for the holidays, my curiosity has built to the we must go point.

The first thing I want to see? It’s A Small World. It has not only been renovated, it’s now decked out in holiday decor. I haven’t seen It’s A Small World since I was a child and it was always one of the first things we’d do whenever we visited. It’s been under renovation and when it opened, well, the line was so long, I couldn’t even begin to imagine standing there with two restless 5-year-olds in tow. But this weekend, we have priority access and that line will not be a deterrant this time.

Other things I can’t wait to see? How about snow on Main Street, Sleeping Beauty’s castle set in winter, the Christmas Holiday parade, ToonTown at Christmas and a new show based on the story of the Princess and the Frog. Oh, and the rides. Yes, the rides…of course!  🙂

It’s now 7:00am as I finish this post…waiting for my family to stir. We can enter the park right now because we’re staying at a Disneyland hotel. But Truls is not a morning person. Hmmm…maybe if I open this curtain just a little bit….

An original It’s Never Easy But It’s Always Fun blog post.

You may also find MommyTwinGirls at Silicon Valley Moms Blog telling tales of parenting in Silicon Valley, at Mad About Multiples recounting the ups and downs of raising twins and at Solheim Photography posting favorites from her latest photo shoots.