In the NFL, many times when a player is injured and is unable to finish the season he will be put on the PUP list. PUP stands for physically unable to perform. I have determined that if youth soccer has such a list it may be called the MUP list...mentally unable to perform.
If that list existed, Lleyton would have been put on it before the his first game last season. He had all of the skills to potentially run circles around his comrades, but he lacked a bit on the other side of the game. What he had in dribbling skills was outweighed by his lack of attention span. What he had in speed was countered by the impulsively that drove him to dart off of the field in warm ups straight into a busy parking lot. He wasn't unable to focus enough to sit on the sidelines and cheer his teammates, choosing rather to stay right by our side.
With all of that being true and with those memories from a year ago fresh in our minds, we set out this afternoon to give soccer another try...and our little guy far exceeded our expectations.
He did great!
We have clearly come along way in the last year (with the biggest strides coming in the last few weeks).
Does this look like a kid that lacks focus?
How about this one, taken while our little soccer player stared down the competition during pregame warm ups.
Lleyton is usually asked to hang on the sidelines with Addy and cheer on Parker while watching him play, so he was delighted that the tables were turned and Parker and Addy were the ones cheering him on.
He was very assertive and aggressive on the field (maybe too aggressive at times...sorry to those little guys that he ran over). Here is taking Bob the Bobcat for a little ride down the field. Bob the Bobcat is the name of the ball in the league he plays in.
Sara and I beamed with pride while watching our little guy play this afternoon. He has really made progress recently and we are thrilled about that. Our biggest point of pride wasn't his passing skills, his ability to control the ball while dribbling, and certainly not his slide-tackling, but rather we were most proud of our little guy for this...
Sitting on the sidelines rooting on his teammates.
Onto next week. He is excited about getting back on the field, and we are equally as excited to watch.