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Fairhope Soccer Club for kids (and the parents too!)

Fairhope Soccer Club is making an impact!

We have all heard the statistics about sports helping with child development, but to spend a few hours at Fairhope’s new soccer complex makes it undeniable. The beautiful green fields on Manley Road are yet another sign of the support our Utopian community provides to its next generation. Fairhope Soccer Club (FSC) offers opportunities for children as young as 3 to foster a love of the game. Coach Jamie Ferguson is hilarious with the Fairhope Tots & Fairhope Fives, never questioning why players need to stop and appreciate each airplane that flies overhead before patiently returning to the task of teaching them ways to maneuver on the field. I have coached soccer in three different states, but never before Fairhope have I been invited to coaching clinics for volunteer parents. (Lesson learned – no more making those little players run laps!)fullsizerender-13

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The members of our family are far from perfect and we each have some “rough edges” that teammates on the field can help to smooth. While it is easy to see that our children are strengthening their coordination and physical health, it is exciting to watch their self-esteem and social skills improve simultaneously. As I sit in my folding chair drinking coffee at those early Saturday games, I can’t help but wonder what seeds we are planting. When we volunteer to coach, or arrive early to set up goals, or even carpool the neighborhood kids – we are doing our part to help these little people succeed. And it gives me hope as I realize that while on one field my child is knocking yours down, on another field nearby my other child is stopping to help someone back up again.fullsizerender-12

My husband and I realized from the start that we need other adults to help us tame these wild creatures. Coaches Josh Montgomery & Nick Cooper provide ongoing support for the players as they choose which path to take in the older teams. Collaborating to help the game remain new and challenging, these coaches are dedicated to the development of FSC players. And whether they are busy picking weeds while the soccer ball rolls by or scoring the winning goal, my children are always excited to join their team on the field.

Sure, as parents we commiserate over shuttling children to practice and cleaning grass stains on uniforms, but we cannot deny the smoothing that is being done to the rough edges of each of our little players.


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