Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Finger Soccer

Because I am beginning to believe that it will never stop raining, I have resorted to playing ‘finger soccer’ with my kids with this toy they bought me from the dollar store. It comes with a goalie net, a goalie that you move around by a stick that pokes into his back, two mini soccer balls and two ‘feet’ that attach to your fingers, so your fingers can play soccer.

Hannah asked to play it with me. (I am trying to get over the irony of the fact that she will never play real soccer with me when I ask her to – but that is another story.) When it was her turn in goal, she began with the asinine strategy of simply moving the goalie back and forth whether I was shooting or not. (Unfortunately, I’ve actually seen my other daughter Sophie play soccer like this in real life. Let’s just say it’s mortifying watching your kid dodge back in forth in front of the net unnecessarily when the ball is at the other end of the field.) But I decide to be quiet about it. Here I am in the comfort of my own home, not being judged by other parents, with plastic shoes stuck to my fingers, so sure, why not? Who am I to judge? Just a player for 30 years and a soccer coach, but go ahead and do your thing, I thought. You’ll learn.

But guess what? Her strategy worked. I shot, trying my hardest to time it so that it would miss the goalie and go in the net, but she actually managed to stop it. Repeatedly. It was like trying to get a hole-in-one at one of those mini golf courses with a windmill that passes in front of the hole every few seconds.

Bored by my lameness, Hannah changed her goalie strategy. She decided to do nothing instead. She placed the goalie in the middle of the net and sat back with her arms crossing her chest. I frantically finger-kicked mini soccer balls at Hannah’s goalie and none of them went in and she began to openly mock me. “Mom, you can’t even score when I do nothing.” She laughed.

(I was reminded of a statistic someone told me about real penalty kicks – that a large percentage of the time, the goalie could save them if they did nothing – no need to jump to the left or right - so many of us just kick it right at the goalie. I tried to look up this statistic and had no luck, so then I casually asked one of my English soccer friends if he knew anything about this and he said something like “Oh, you North Americans with your sports statistics. Most saves. Most minutes with the ball. Most successful passes. Rubbish.” Okay, so’ll have to take my word for it. )

To save my sanity in finger soccer, I decided to reverse roles and let Hannah shoot while I played goal. But then I worried that either:

a) she won’t score either and I don’t want her to be let down and hate soccer more than she already does


b) she will score and I will be shown up by my 10 year old.

So I decide to play the goalie upside down. My goalie will stop everything as well! On his head! And this strategy also works. (Mostly because when Hannah shoots, she shoots off to the side and with such force that the feet fly off her fingers. Not something that happens often in real life, to my knowledge.) Because I am atrociously immature, I believe I may have yelled “in your face!” while pointing at Hannah and even high-fived my 2-D goalie after most of my saves. To her credit she did eventually manage to score a few by not really shooting so much as just pushing the ball right up next to my goalie’s head and then forcing it across the line. Not sure if that would work in real life, but I am willing to try it, since I am a major, shameless goal-suck.

I bet you’ve never read such a detailed analysis of a dollar store toy before, eh? You’re welcome.


  1. U owe me three minutes of my life!!! Give it back! >_<

    - not that goodlookin, handsome Frank guy

  2. Note: soccer in the rain is should try it!

  3. Frank - three minutes of people not lining up to hug you? ;-)

    Jim - duh. I tried to play soccer this morning in the pouring rain but in general soccer requires OTHER PLAYERS and so even if I am willing to play in the rain, inexplicably others are not. So....I agree with you.

  4. Also Frank: that picture was for you. I felt like a moron lining up toys on my carpet and photographing them with my iphone, just for something to do on a Wednesday afternoon. Maybe I should get a real job.

  5. I am officially *following* you Cathy. Whahahahahahahahaha. xo