At Palmer's young age, I am a firm believer of one sport at a time. (I mean, he is only four. Let's not get crazy.) So, Rick and I carefully explained that if we moved to soccer, karate would have to go by the wayside. Palmer made the decision to switch to soccer and we've adjusted to a new schedule of practices and games during the week.
Palmer's biggest sideline fan:
The couch put all of the kids in a circle and told them it was time to get to know each other. Since the team name is the Little Lions, each child was to say his/her name and show everyone a loud lion roar. Immediately, Palmer stood up and said, "Hi. I'm Palmer Thomas Jordan. Roaaarrrr. And coach, I want to be the goalie, pls!"
The rest of the practice went pretty well because the ball to kid ratio was nearly 1-1. Palmer happily kicked his ball around during practice and Rick and I high-fived each other, certain that we had a star player.
Jump ahead to the first game and we quickly realized we had forgotten to mention one key fact: during the game, there is only ONE ball. To make things worse, Palmer's ball was randomly chosen as the game ball. Palmer was very confused and upset about why people "weren't sharing HIS ball".
Next problem: Rick and I failed to explain the concept of rotating players in and out of the game. There can only be 5 kids from each team on the field at a time. When Coach would tell Palmer to get off the field, Palmer came crying to us on the sidelines, "Coach said I am OFF THE TEAM!!" We worked hard to convince him, "No, you're not off the team. You just have to take turns on the field..."
Here's what we did talk about before the game: "Palmer, make sure to pass it to the other guys on your team. They will be wearing red like you."
You guessed it.
The opposite side for the first game was also a team in red.
Palmer is very excited before each practice and game. When he gets there his excitement lasts for a good five minutes. Then, his attention moves towards water breaks and the post-game snack.
Nevertheless, we are all having fun cheering for "Palmer Lion" and Palmer enjoys his new sport.