Book Review: Soccer Dad by The Soccer Dad

soccer dad book

A Brief Introduction of the Soccer Dad book

A soccer dad, W. D. Wetherell,  documents his high school son’s final season and their team trying to three-peat the state tournament.  Too many times soccer parents are trying to live through their child.  The soccer dad book is a book that celebrates the support a parent can give in experiencing the game for what it provides–an opportunity to watch your child grow (physically and mentally) and be able to cheer them on and observe it in a healthy and non-toxic environment.

An Overview of the Soccer Dad book

As I stated earlier, Wetherell, documents his high school son’s final high school soccer season as his team vies for to be a three-peat New Hampshire state champion.

Wetherell recognizes he is not a soccer genius.  Early in the book, Wetherell fully admits he will not overly promote or discredit youth soccer.  This book will not be about tactics, soccer drills, youth soccer clubs, soccer around the world, etc. either.  There are no overly descriptive or wordy passages about soccer tactics. Wetherell strives to provide an unbiased and observatory “soccer dad” lens of the world of youth soccer in America.  He also makes the book a memoir for him, his son and their soccer family of the final high school soccer season.  

Individuals that are fortunate to obtain the updated and revised version receive an update on the protagonist and his teammates activities after they graduate from high school.

What I like/relate to in the Soccer Dad book:

Wetherell breaks out the book in chronological order from the beginning of his son’s senior high school year and ends it with the culmination of the end of his senior year.  (You receive more information about the next adventures of some of the soccer players if you buy the updated and revised version of the book).  The book is broken out in chapters with each chapter covering a specific time period and at the same time having a specific observation.  Let me explain.

The first chapter is titled “Fields of Winter.”  In this chapter, Wetherell visits a number of soccer fields that his son played on coming up through select soccer.  Each one of these fields had a unique and vivid memory for him–from describing the scenery of the last match on the field to describing the actions that occurred during the match.

Wetherell also describes the sounds of the soccer match.  (Yes, sounds of the soccer match.)  Try this the next time you attend a youth soccer match.  After the kickoff, close your eyes.  Just listen.  You will hear the sounds of parents.  You will hear the sounds of players.  You will hear the sounds of coaches.  You will notice a rhythm, a cadence, a flow and a tempo of the sounds.  When you open your eyes, those sounds will be your primary observation and your other senses will fill-in everything else. Wetherell does a great job observing these sounds and how they mesh with the game.

Lastly, Wetherell vividly describes his experiences in Hanover, New Hampshire.  He describes moments at Dartmouth College and encounters with Bobby and Tommy Clark, Jeff Cook and Hanover High School just to name a few mainstays in the soccer community in Hanover, New Hampshire.  Being an alumni of Dartmouth College and a member of the Dartmouth men’s soccer team, I fully appreciated Wetherell’s acknowledgement and descriptions of the impact of Dartmouth’s soccer community.  I played on Chase Field where Wetherell first heard Bobby Clark’s unique tone.  Jeff Cook was the assistant coach during my freshman year. Wetherell accurately described those individuals and the area around the soccer stadium.  He interwove those beautifully into his and his son’s story.

Final Thoughts on the Soccer Dad book

Wetherell did a solid job of sharing his experience as a soccer dad during the final year of his son’s high school soccer career. Wetherell was not condescending of the sport or of individuals attached to it.  Sometimes the sport, and those involved with it, can be cold and heartless. Wetherell is the opposite.  He is not a crazy soccer parent upset that his son is not a professional player or the coaches are not getting his son a full NCAA division I college scholarship. Wetherell describes the beauty of enjoying these last moments of his son’s high school career that happens to play soccer.  He is really there to support his child, regardless of how good or bad of a player he is.  This is not Dance Moms.  This is The Soccer Dad.  

 

If you liked my book review of the Soccer Dad, by W. D. Wetherell as much as I did, feel free to purchase Soccer Dad on Amazon.