Last week Cooper attended his first soccer camp. It was Monday through Friday at the treeless soccer field. The first day I had forgotten about it and rolled out of bed around 8:30 thinking it was a lazy Monday. It was about 5 minutes later I realized we had somewhere to be and the madness began. Thankfully Cooper was already awake and rushed around looking for soccer balls, cleats and shin guards. We arrived only 5 minutes late and although he was a bit apprehensive he made his way to met the other campers and his coach for the week. Coach ‘Rick’ as I called him because I could barely understand a word he said. He was from Poland and was very strict and expected a lot from his players. I wondered how Cooper would do, but he LOVED every minute of it. The first day I braced for fits as I assumed he would be exhausted, hot and thirsty. He excitedly jumped into the car and said, “I can’t WAIT for tomorrow, but I need to bring a bigger water bottle!” Poor guy was sent with his usual practice bottle and he told me he was out before the first break :(
The campers ranged in age from 6-16 and the first day they were broken into mixed age teams and were given a team name. Cooper’s was ‘Poland’ and he was adamant that he needed to wear RED(head to toe), every day. The outfit you see is what he wore each day. I would wash it each afternoon so it would be ready. I tried to set out a different outfit that in Cooper’s words weren’t ‘red enough’. The teams were given points each day if they dressed in their team colors, demonstrated sportsmanship and had good moves on the field. Cooper thrived on this competition and took it all in as gold.
Friday morning the parent’s were invited to watch the World Games that they had been practicing for each day. Cooper was VERY excited and was up at 6 AM dressed and ready. Each team was asked to bring a flag to represent their country and the above picture is what we came up with. Homemade at its finest :) The picture below shows the first game. Each team is yelling their country back and forth. Cooper’s voice is loud and proud with “POLAND!” Brian was able to make the games too, which was a huge boost for Cooper.
Cooper was very aggressive on the field and was not afraid of getting hit with the ball, as I would have been. He took a beating to the chest and head and never showed fear. I was quite surprised. Below is a battle between him and a fourteen year old. No fear!
Each team played a total of four ‘games’ and then they had a closing ceremony. After each game they would all huddle together and recap the highlights of the game. Cooper was MVP in two of his games and lead scorer in one game. At closing ceremonies Poland was named the champions and given a team ‘trophy’. Below is a picture of his team that he had played with all week. He was proud of the games and can’t wait to go again next year!