For the last three years Anderson has been DYING to go to soccer school. Problem was he was never old enough. The youngest age we've found that is allowed to start school is six years old. Believe me, we've checked many different schools.
Six years old was the youngest you could be before you could sign up.
We've shared before that Anderson finally got to start soccer school this year.
He absolutely loves it.
A couple of Saturdays ago he had a little practice game and he was in HEAVEN.
He is the youngest. There are some kids 10-11 years old in his class. Big kids compared to Anderson.
He got out there and just played his heart out. He doesn't care about the size of the other kids.
Here is a quick video of him trying to make a goal right in front of the net. Just look for the smallest kid in the red jersey going against the biggest kids in the green jerseys. It's kind of a blur but if you concentrate you can see the little "Messi" trying to score.
I also love the video because you can hear his coach yelling "Valeu Andeson" about halfway through. Basically it means, "Way to go Anderson."
Here are some action shots from the game.
This next one is my favorite. He did a sliding tackle to try to steal the ball from the bigger kid. He missed (you can see the ball just behind Anderson's head) but I love that he went after this kid twice his size.
Other kids are playing in dirt or looking at the clouds.
Not Anderson. He was keeping up with the score as each team kicked.
Then it was his turn.
Here are the pictures of what happened:
And here is the video. Notice the concentration before the kick....
.... and the disappointment after. He was DEVASTATED that he didn't score.
He came over to us (me, Benay and Bronwyn) and it was so obvious he was about to cry.
He fought it off for a little bit while the big guys were around. Then he just broke down.
One of the things I really like about his school is that the bigger kids have never treated Anderson like a six year old. Never. They have always treated him with respect.
The big kids run with him sometimes when they run warm up laps.
At his first practice he scored a goal and the big kids picked him up to celebrate. They treated him like that on the first day.
Anyway, he was heartbroken that he missed his penalty kick.
Then a very cool thing happened.
First his coach came over and loved on my son. Talked to him about how well he played, how well he kicked the penalty and how proud he was of Anderson. He then gave him a big hug.
As we left the big kids then started coming over to Anderson and telling him how well he had played. Some even reminded him that they missed their penalties as well.
The crying stopped and his spirit changed.
It's cool how God works. Four months ago I had never heard of this soccer school. It's fairly close to our house but I had no clue it existed. Our friend Freitas, who is part of the house church that meets in our house, told me about it. God used Freitas to put Anderson in this school.
For Anderson, right now, it's the perfect place for him and as I saw God working through this coach and these boys I realize it's the perfect place for us to be right now as well.
P.S. At Anderson's last practice the coach spent some extra time with him before the penalty kicks. Anderson made two. Six year old heaven.