When the New Kid on Your Child’s Team is a Military Kid

We’re a soccer family. Our 7 and 10-year-old girls play, husband-Dave coaches both teams and I drag baby brother (2) to all the games, making me the ultimate soccer mom.

We’re that family that sits at the dinner table with a white board, mapping out formations and dissecting the last game. The other night, the conversation was about a new team mate.

Me: What do we know about her?

Dave: She’s a military kid.

And that was literally the end of the conversation… because what else do you really need to know? This soccer family has been around long enough to know it’s AWESOME when a military kid joins the team.

Military kids…

Always Show Up. In this world of “oh no, it’s drizzling I can’t make it to soccer,” there are a few kids you can count on: the ones whose moms or dads serve. That sense of commitment is strong and a “feeling tired” or “too much homework,” won’t stop them from being there.

Don’t Talk Back. You wouldn’t believe all the “Come on, coach!” and “I don’t want to,” we deal with at practice… but not from the military kids. They want to listen and learn. And as one of my military mom friends pointed out… it’s probably because they know their time may be short lived on a particular team so “they want to get caught up and soak in all they can as fast as possible.”

Can Handle Anything. Whether it’s a new coach, new position or challenging team mates…. nothing seems to phase them. They’re used to dealing with every kind of team mate: the bully, the whiner, the slacker, the overly completive jerk. Is it mean to talk about children that way? Too bad, because we all know it’s TRUE!

Can Play Any Position. Military kids are utility players. They’ve had to adapt to so many teams that are already established, making them ready and willing to play any position. Why doesn’t anyone want to play goalie these days?? We’ve resorted to bribing goalie volunteers with candy. I’m sure Dave is tempted to keep our military kid players in goal just to avoid all the whining… but that’s not fair! Plus, MilKids…

Are Strong. I’m not saying military kids are the ONLY ones who run hard but they’re usually some of the only ones not complaining about it. Part of it is that PT mindset that values strength and fitness… but it’s more than just physical. That mental strength makes them excellent leaders who work well under pressure.

Military kids move every 2-3 years and have to join new teams over and over again. They jump right in and find their spot seamlessly, and as a soccer mom… we’re sad and disappointed to see them go.

So to the military kids who have come and gone, and those who will join our teams in the future… YOU’RE THE REAL MVP’S!

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