In addition to playing games, many Clearwater players also run practice drills to improve their skills. Since everyone began playing several times a week a few months ago everyone's individual skill and ability to execute strategic plays as a team has improved markedly.
The little five-year-old girl in the foreground of the first photo really wanted to play, but she is so tiny and has never played soccer so everyone was afraid she'd get hurt in a rough and tumble, high-energy game. Instead, while everyone else was playing she and I kicked the a ball back and forth and teamed up to kick it all the way around the entire sports park twice. She also got to practice a little goal kicking with everyone after the game was over.
It was heartwarming and wonderful to watch eight- and ten-year-old goalies make a great show of leaping to block her ball and miss so that she made her goal every time. No one suggested that they do that. They instinctively understood what would please her and generously included her and ensured her success.
An eight- and nineteen-year-old going toe to toe.
Lots more photos after the jump!
The symetry of the players in this photo is lovely.
Matt leads the charge.
Valiant and failed attempt to block a goal.
Goal-kicking practice. Impressive form, Stephanie!
I took a bunch of pictures trying to get this goalie in action. He is poetry in motion!
This photo is grainy and the lens isn't aimed quite high enough, but here he is in mid-leap.
End of post.