This weekend marked the beginning of the games for Mikayla's soccer team. The coach that Mikayla has had in the past wasn't able to coach this year due to some health issues with his wife (though his daughter is on our team, so we still get to see him....) - but the silver lining to that was that it opened the door for Laurel to be our coach. She is so fantastic, she played soccer in college and has such a way with kids. She's been put in a bit of a rough situation as the teams were divided a bit unequally, so we are the more "unexperienced" of the two teams. It means less pressure, but more losses, so hopefully the girls won't feel too defeated if the losses continue. At this point, though, I think they are all having a lot of fun, and know wholeheartedly how much Laurel is there, invested in them, and not in any way there just to coach a "winning" team. (The parents see that too, which has been huge for Laurel to feel their support).
To some extent, I can see this turn of events this season as being a real positive for Mikayla, as it forces her to "rise to the challenge" and be a little more assertive. She's getting much speedier, handling the ball well, and just plain ol' "getting tough". It's really great to see her improving....it will be fun to compare even how she plays at the end of the season to now. Way to go, Mikayla!