I just realized something else. I don’t think it’s an accident that it’s Soccer Moms, as opposed to Little League Moms or Football Moms. Soccer is slightly elitist in the US, without being out of the reach of the upper-middle class like polo or lacrosse. It’s an international sport, which makes it the Starbucks of little kids sports - it may not be the best, but at least it’s not what those trashy common people do.
dangermom, you don’t count. I love you like marmalade, you know that, but homeschoolers don’t have extra time, ever! You also don’t live through your kids - you love them, I can tell, but you have interests of your own. You’re not a Soccer Mom, no matter how many soccer games you attend. Neither am I, even though I’m a SAHM - we’re too poor and not proud enough to hide it. My SIL, on the other hand,* is* a Soccer Mom, even though her 3 year old isn’t playing soccer. Yet.
One of the supposed “soccer mom” traits is an over-inflated sense of social awareness. So that barrage of questions you were subjected to was the pecking round to determine your (and possible changes to your sisters) social standing. Unanswered questions would have led to… talk.
Plus there is a subspecies of “Soccer Mom” - the DivorcedSM, where alimony supports the lifestyle, and the soccer pitch is indeed a field to be played when there are suitable players ;).
Hm. I wonder if that’s true everywhere; here in CA, everyone I know plays soccer (and we did as kids), but there’s no lacrosse. Maybe those extra team sports people pay a lot for would count as the higher-status things? Soccer is cheap, though, and we have lots of flat grass and sunshine and can play year-round. --Wait, is soccer an indoor sport for you northern folks? (Last night I visited a friend who has no money whatsoever–she lives on disability and church welfare right now because she has some mysterious form of epilepsy and isn’t allowed to work or drive, which is an awful way to live let me tell you–and her son was wearing his soccer shirt. Possibly Grandma paid for the soccer, but Grandma is poor too.)
So, a Soccer Mom isn’t the same as a mom whose kid plays soccer? Because I get a little defensive; everyone I know plays soccer at some point, and we mostly drive mini-vans, but they’re all quite nice families and I like them. So when people get all nasty about SAHMs on these threads, I’m thinking about my friends, and I know they’re not social-climbing vultures who are bored and trying to live through their kids.
Really? Big football player are you? Soccer players do not run a mile in full pads five days a week. Soccer players do not spend six hours a week lifting weights. (I played both, BTW)
Um… Basketball? Cross-country?
And yet, soccer was introduced to this country through the suburbs and reamins largely a suburban sport. There are certainly teams in cities and in the country, but it is most popular in the suburbs, especially the upper-middle-class ones.
Dangermom, soccer can be a year-round sport here in the frozen north. So can basketball and several other sports. Soccer doesn’t have to be year-round, though, but some kids like the difference of the indoor game. When we lived in Oregon, the main soccer season was in the fall, if I remember correctly. Here it’s a summer sport, and training can start indoors before the snow has melted.
Regarding the cost, the clubs we’ve been involved with have always offered scholarships for a limited number of players who wouldn’t otherwise be able to afford club fees. Anyone know if that’s pretty universal?
Saoirse, we’re talking about little kids who are so young that their mothers have to cart them about from activity to activity. Although you can always find exceptions, kids that age tend not to put in a lot of heavy training regardless of their sport., Better to have them run about on a soccer pitch for the entire play period than sit on a bench or otherwise mill about.
And yes, I have played varsity football (fullback). It was rather dull, given that half the time one sits on the bench, and when one is on the field, there is usually only a few seconds of activity per play. Rugby was a heck of a lot more active. As far as running a mile in pads goes, that’s a joke. Or at least that was my impression of it when I was averaging well over a hundred miles per week road running. As an athletic activity, football was pretty low down the list.
Basketball (the game, not HORSE), is at LEAST as labor intensive as soccer. Sure you don’t look like you are running that far, but anybody that has played racquetball knows that changing directions often and quickly uses much more energy than jogging down a field. Also the game is MUCH faster paced than soccer and requires longer periods of greater exertion.
Different skill sets for different sports, and of course different skill levels and styles of play. Several sports favor sprinters, some sports favor endurance, some sports favor more upper-body strength. That’s what’s so great about having kids try out several different sports–they’re likely to find something they do well and enjoy.
Heh…don’t know if it’s a Dope thing or a sports thing, but it’s easy to defend the activities we’re passionate about.
I expect that the tendancy for soccer to be suburban and basketball to be urban (aside from either or both being played at school), might have a lot to do with availability of playing areas. When planning a community, it is fairly easy to ensure that the developer sets aside land for parks and recreation, and it is fairly inexpensive to level and maintian fields for soccer. Once an area is already heavily built up, I expect it would be easier to pave smaller lots here and there for basketball, than it would be to clear larger lots for soccer.
I suspect that competative organized childrens’ sports are more common in America than elsewhere. At least, they aren’t very common here. Kids played sports, sure, but they played them with their friends.
Incidentally, around here soccer is considered the more “common” sport, compared to the much more classy and sophisticated basketball.
Here in Canada we have (ice) hockey parents. They can get quite violent at times.
Once I had to handle a national level appeal concerning a child who was banned from a hockey league, along with his parent being banned from the arenas. The kid’s parent was a real fanatic – uber aggressive, narrow minded, and just plain mean.
I have a friend who is a hockey referee. He has been yelled at, spat on, pushed, and occaionally punched, by parents of the kids he refs.
Hmm, I might be a soccer mom. Actually I coach soccer, though only the lower grades. I also coach Vball, at a higher level. I’m a SAHM, but I work for our company, and go to school full time, too (recent addition to the schedule.) Am I living vicariously through my kids? Nah, I don’t think so, I play vball a couple days a week myself, and have a plenty full life. Why do I coach? I enjoy it, and I think I do a pretty good job. There is also a dearth of people willing to coach. Coaching allows me to have time with my kids in a different setting, and to know their friends better. I’d rather my kids do stuff, than sit inside and watch TV. I encourage them going outside, tearing apart things, building things, climbing trees, catching butterflies. I don’t coach at home at all.