Here’s Why We Love Noah’s Miracle League Soccer Team!

I Love Being His Coach!

After 18 plus months off due to COVID-19, Noah started his fourth season playing soccer with the Frisco Miracle League today! (And I started my third year as the coach of his soccer team.) I am thankful for organizations like the Miracle League (and the Special Olympics) for creating environments that kids with Down syndrome (and other different abilities) can have fun in.

Noah loves playing sports (he plays baseball, basketball, football and soccer) and we love how laid back the Miracle League games are. So it’s a win win. I was so happy that after not having a season last year, he was able to get back out there today and have fun! For those of you interested in possibly having your child play on a Miracle League team, I thought I’d share what a typical soccer game looks like.

The soccer game consists of four ten minutes periods, with a small break in between each period. Then at the end of the game each child gets a chance to come up one by one and do a goal shoot out. If you have *typical* kids that play competitive soccer then you know how intense that can be. The miracle League soccer games (thankfully) aren’t like that. Parents and kids are there to cheer their kids (and the other kids) on. People have a good time. No one is worried about score. There’s no pressure to preform. It’s great.

Each child is assigned a Miracle League Buddy. A buddy basically partners up with a child and assists them as needed and gives their “buddy” encouragement throughout the game. Since we are in “COVID-19 times” everyone in the building is required to wear face coverings. There are two teams playing and each team goes to the middle of the soccer field. The coach or referee puts the ball down and lets one child from “team A” kick the ball toward their goal and the play basically continues until the ball goes into the goal. Then all of the kids come back to the middle and a child from “team B” kicks the ball to their goal and they play basically goes on until the ball goes into a goal. The coach makes sure all the kids get the opportunity to kick the ball several times throughout the game.

As I mentioned, at the end of the game each child gets the opportunity to kick the ball and score and goal. This is a really special time as the parents cheer and applaud the kids as they make their goals. Check out the video below to see Noah get his goal at the end of the soccer game today. He nailed it!

When Noah first started playing for the miracle league I was so happy and encouraged just seeing him run around and play without other parents feeling “sorry” for him / us as might happen if Noah played for a *typical* soccer team. I cheered as he played. I cheered other kids when they made a goal. It was, and is, a lot of fun. The games, and the entire experience, is really special.

A few years back I started coaching the soccer team, and continue coaching to this day. I love getting to hang out with Noah, and I really enjoy all of the families I get to meet. It’s a lot of fun. (Side note – I would NEVER coach a *typical* soccer team. One of our other sons plays academy soccer and I know what those parents and games are like. No, thanks!) 🙂

If you the parent of a child with Down syndorme (or other *disability) and are interested in getting your son or daughter involved in youth sports, I HIGHLY suggest checking out the Miracle League. I can’t say enough good things about their programs, parents, coaches, and staff. It has been a great experience all the way around. I look forward to seeing Noah, and his friends crush it this season!

Does you child with different abilities play on a sport team? Leave a comment and tell me about their experience!

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About Rick Smith

Hi, I'm Noah's Dad and I'm passionate about giving the world a window into our life as we raise our son who was born with Down syndrome. I also enjoy connecting with other families, so let's stay connected.


  1. Dorothy Kollmann says

    Thanks for sharing. It sounds a lot like Special Olympics that we have up here. A great program especially having the mentors or buddies with each athlete. I heartily agree with you on never coaching a regular sports program. Way to go Noah and Dad!

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