Why we turned our backs on soccer this year

Before school even started, our family made a choice not to participate in soccer this fall.

I’ve made no secret about how I feel about the sport.  I love the lessons my kids have learned in sports, but I’m not that fond of soccer.  I make a horrible soccer mom.

So there is a small part of me that’s doing the happy dance because I don’t have to go pretend that I care about a sport I don’t care about.

We’re skipping soccer!

This was not about me.  I did not pull my kids out of soccer just because I didn’t want to stand around in the Texas heat watching my kids kick a ball up and down the field.


It was about my family.

why we turned our backs on soccer

First, it is about our season of school.

My boys are in 2nd and 4th grade this year.  I don’t know about your school, but for us, those “step up years.”

I’ve done “step up years” before.  I know my oldest will give it his all.  He’ll leave it all on the field.  He’s in it to win it.  It takes everything he has just to get through the school day, and by the time he gets home he is wiped out.

I’ve done “step up years” before.  I know my kids need extra time to engage in old fashioned play.  The kind that requires no batteries, no controllers or chargers, and little adult supervision.  The extra play time helps them grow into the expectations at school.  I don’t have a technical explanation, I just know that it works.

I’ve done “step up years” before.  After bathing them in prayer and yanking the processed foods from their diet, the only other way I can help is sleep.  Lots and lots of sleep.  Six nights a week, my kids are getting put in their beds at 7:30 with a lights out at 8:00.   The only exception to that is if I put them to bed even earlier because I think they need it.

Soccer wasn’t compatible with “step up.”  

Second, it is about hunting season.

Soccer season and deer hunting season overlap for us.  Last year there was an ongoing tension as we navigated between the obligation of soccer and the desire to hunt.  Our soccer games were 20 miles to the south.  The deer lease is 100 miles to the east.

My kids are also learning some amazing life lessons through hunting.  They want to hang out in the woods.  My can’t-sit-still-or-be-quiet child can sit in a deer stand for hours.  They want to hang out with their dad.

This year, hunting won over soccer.  

Third, it’s about the season.

Some of the absolutely most amazing weather we have here is in October and November.  There are a ton of fun fall festivals to attend.  There are amazing day trips to take.  There are campfires to make and tents to sleep in.

If I can pry them away from the deer lease, we have a great opportunity for fall family fun.

If not, I get a bunch of weekends alone.  Can you imagine how much writing I can do!!!

For the past few years, soccer has been in the way. 

We aren’t doing soccer.

My husband and I made the choice together.  We were concerned that the kids would be disappointed, but we knew it was the right choice for our family.

So we did what you might do.  We put off telling them for as long as we could.  Hubby and I have known for MONTHS that we weren’t doing soccer.  But we only told the kids last week.

(to be honest, hubby told them.  i didn’t have the nerve.  after the homework battles, i wimped out.)

Watty didn’t care.  My soccer obsessed child didn’t miss a beat.  He was thrilled to choose hunting over soccer.

GoGo didn’t care.  He’s never been a big fan of soccer.  He just wanted to make sure that he could play baseball in the spring.

no soccer this fall

I love baseball.

Based on their reactions, we may never do soccer again.

What about you?  Are you doing fall sports?  Have you ever skipped a season? 

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Susan Baker
I have a passion for encouraging weary worn out mothers to find joy in everyday motherhood and peace in unlikely places. I have two elementary school boys, one nerdy husband, and two cats. I have a strange fascination for bad puns, the color pink, socks, and books. I worry about running out of toilet paper, wine, and chocolate.. I serve an amazing God. I live an ordinary life filled with wonder.
Susan Baker
Susan Baker

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  1. This post was timely. We aren’t doing soccer this fall either although for different reasons. My oldest son’s coach is not coaching his age group and he didn’t want to play for anyone else (this was fine with us) and my youngest son didn’t want to play (I admit I pleaded and begged as I’m a soccer loving mom over here but he stood his ground). My oldest has played soccer since he was 4 so this is the first fall in a LONG time that we won’t be cheering on the sidelines. I’m a bit terrified that will get into a “do nothing” on the weekends pattern so I’m already trying to fill that void with some “let’s do the things we always missed because of soccer” ideas. By the way, what exactly do you mean by “step up year”? I do hope you’ll enjoy your soccer free season!
    Jean recently posted..Mid-Week Menu PlanMy Profile

    • Step up year – that’s when the teacher says on the first day “this is a big step up from what you learned last year.”

      For my 2nd grader, this is the year they have 3 teachers instead of one. He has to move from room to room. It’s an emotional attachment thing for him because he’s used to having a single teacher to attach to.

      For my 4th grader, he has a LOT of requirements to keep things organized. There are extended projects. There are weekly tests in multiple subjects. It’s a lot for him to juggle and he’s overwhelmed.

      I should probably write a whole series on surviving the step up year. Watty is the youngest in his grade, so we really notice when they step up.
      Susan Baker recently posted..Why we turned our backs on soccer this yearMy Profile

  2. I’m just the opposite – I loved soccer but HATED baseball! My son played t-ball for a couple of years then little league for a couple more. When it was time to sign up for the next year, he and I were driving over to the park for registration when, about a block from our destination, my son said, “You know, I don’t think I want to play baseball this year.” I did a u-turn so fast that the tires squealed. Phew! The end of baseball and its endless, endless games! Oh happy day!
    Mo recently posted..Are Cookbooks Obsolete?My Profile

    • I think different sports fit better for different families. I’m certainly not judging you for liking soccer. 🙂 I wish I could.

      The key is figuring out what works for our families and giving ourselves permission NOT to participate in every little thing that comes along. Being able to say “no” for our kids is an important part of parenting.

  3. I played soccer growing up and loved the exercise and social aspect it provided. However, I also know about overcommitment with sports, music, school, etc. I don’t think there is anything wrong with cutting back certain activities to allow your kids to grow and thrive in something that they will enjoy or learn more from. It is important that you protect your schedule as well! Otherwise, burnout is inevitable.

  4. Hi Susan!

    You may not be a soccer mom, but you can still be a baseball mom. It’s not the end of the line for you 🙂 Also, hunting together as a family don’t just teach things in life, it also strengthens the bonds between families and is better than any other drills out there. Keep it up Susan!

    Stepping in the bucket recently posted..Tips and Tricks for Achieving a More Powerful Hip Coil Action When HittingMy Profile

  5. At first I was sceptical why you would stop your children playing football but because of the reasons you gave and the fact you substituted the sport for hunting then I totally agree. Good writing.

  6. Thanks for sharing your story…sounds like you made a good decision.

  7. It’s a good thing that your kids agreed to your decision not take up soccer. But I think the important thing is that you get to spend time together in whatever activity you chose for them.

  8. Sounds like they have found enjoyable things to do other than soccer! They will still be getting a lot of exercise while hunting, so hopefully they will be worn out by bedtime!

  9. Hello Susan Baker,

    My brother is crazy about the soccer & he can do anything for it. he is just mad about this game. Give me some tips so that i can minimize his craziness about the game. I’ve tried almost everything but nothing is working. Hope you will help me.

    Thanks Regards
    Aayesha Wehab recently posted..Samsung Galaxy S5 Coming on 23 February, RumorsMy Profile

  10. I love soccer. thanks for sharing story. Sounds like you make a good decision

  11. I’m really enjoying the theme/design of your website.This is useful information for me.
    And I want to thank you for the information.

  12. Soccer is favorite sports of mine. I’m damn excited about FIFA World Cup 2014. Other are waiting for IPL But I’m waiting for Summer World Cup.
    Uday Sharma

  13. Anonymous says:

    Soccer in one of my favourite game. I really feeling excited about the upcoming FIFA world cup.

  14. I am fond of Soccer Game! It’s one of the favorite sports of mine. Basically, I’m from India, where everybody loves Cricket IPL etc, but I’m truly dedicated to FIFA! and waiting for FIFA 2014 Brasil World Cup!
    Thanks for this precious writing mam!

    Vivek Jain

  15. Who isn’t excited about the FIFA World Cup 2014. Just 41 days to go now. Rooting for Germany to go all the way this time around.

    Mayank recently posted..Argentina 2014 World Cup Squad: Team Preview Predictions Starting X1 Key PlayersMy Profile

  16. when you opppose some restration on your children then it will create problem for your relation with children because they afarid from you so the best thing is that give some awearness to your children and make a frandly reation

  17. Thanks a lot for your great post.it is informative post for soccer.This post give more new and important information for soccer. live soccer

  18. Thanks a lot for your great post.your article is important and helpful for man.i like this post very much.
    live football recently posted..FIFA World Cup: Luis Suarez confident Uruguay can beat EnglandMy Profile

  19. World Cup Soccer 2014 is favourite to all. But in this post you have mentioned that in your child’s school. But soccer needs for recreation.For that reason, you and your family easily enjoy World Cup Soccer live 2014 free games.

  20. I think it depends on the needs and desire of the family and the person… Soccer is a lovely game and i am enjoying the soccer world cup right now…. but its good to understand the needs of the Family and plan accordingly !!!
    Nice post

  21. right now good article by the author of this post my concern not to get used of the website and article and the comment which I commenting on it right now

    Word Cup

  22. Hi…
    As per my view , We realy have to consider points which you have mentioned, they are realy important. I love soccer, and also wants others also enjoy it. Thanx for sharing with us.

  23. Good to know the reasons of turning back on soccer on this year and I really appreciate with this attempt. So I hope that whatever the decision you have taken that will be good for you and lot of success will come in future. Keep on:)

  24. Really a nice story about Soccer. Seems baseball is easier compared to soccer!!

  25. No sport is easy, or tough. It depends on many factors, ain’t it?

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