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I have worn many labels (Not in any particular order): Catholic, Wife, Mom,Gramma, Doctor, Major, Soccer Mom, Military Wife, Professor, Fellow.

All of these filter my views of the world. I hope that like St. Monica, I can through prayer, words and example, lead my children and others to Faith.
"The important thing is that we do not let a single day go by in vain without putting it to good use for eternity"--Blessed Franz Jägerstätter

Monday, May 15, 2006

Soccer Lessons for Life

How did I spend my Mother’s Day weekend? Of course I went to Mass. Passing on the Faith is my first priority of motherhood. We also grilled flank steak. Yum! We eschew eating out on Mother’s Day. Why fight the crowds when we can put together a feast in the comfort of our home? The perfect Mother’s Day present was to have my oldest son return home from college. Now I have all my chicks back in the nest. I will enjoy this for the next few weeks. Like any good Soccer Mom, I spent the weekend on the sidelines cheering my kids. Four games this weekend. We were 3-1-0. Yea!!

We had one of those teachable soccer moments this weekend. My daughter’s club team is one of the top teams in the region. They are just starting the college recruitment process. We are used to having college coaches watch the tournament games, but you don’t expect college coaches to be watching the league games. Our girls took the field as the previous game finished up. They began their disciplined warm up. Most of them went about it with game level intensity. I noticed a gentleman watching the girls. As a mother and as the team manager, I try to keep an eye out for who is around the field. The gentleman introduced himself to me. He is the women’s soccer team coach for a D1 school in Pennsylvania. His son had been playing in the previous game and he noticed the high school age girls taking the field. He also noted the quality of their warm up. He was going to watch the game for a little while and scout for prospective college players.

After our team had been warming up for about twenty minutes, our opponents arrived. They had a very casual warm-up style. The college coach approached me and asked me what I knew about this team. I told him if they qualified for our league they had to be a decent team. We had not played them in the last year so I really didn’t know much about their current status. He then commented about their lack of intensity in the warm up.

The coach positioned himself on our end of the field. He watched the first half of the game and left. I don’t know if he is going to actively recruit any of our players. I do know our team made a favorable first impression on him. That impression was made before the starting kick-off. The seriousness with which the girls approached the preparation for the game was as important as the seriousness with which the girls approached the game itself.

After the girls finished their warm-up, our team coach let them know the college coach was watching the game and had already watched their warm up. He emphasized every part of a mission, whether it is a soccer game, a school project, or a career, is important. You can’t slack off on the preparation and expect to perform only when you think you are in the limelight. Sometimes you are in the limelight and don’t know it.

The girls did win the game. I hope many of them took home more than a victory Saturday afternoon. I hope they have a renewed appreciation for the behind-the-scenes work they do to earn the victories.

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