Learning a new job: coaching soccer
Coaching a team of four-year-old boys in soccer is a lot like not coaching a group of four-year-old boys in soccer. In fact it is a lot more like getting coached by four-year-old boys about life.
I really wanted to coach my son’s soccer team last year, but my wife had already signed him up and did not mark me down as a coach and was not going to refill out the form. So last year I sat on the sideline and cheered like a maniac as a small herd of children frantically chased a soccer ball around until one of two things would happen. One of the kids would develop what appeared to be super human speed, break away from the herd and score, or someone would fall generally bringing one or two down with them; begin crying and a time-out would have to be called.
After seeing the excitement for the entire season from the sideline I could not help but want to be involved in a more integral part. So, this year when it came time for sign-ups I made sure to let my wife know well ahead of time I was going to coach. Since then I have participated in the ever important draft; putting together the toughest, or at least funniest, group of soccer players under the age of five.
We are now only three practices in and my team has definitely taught me as much if not more then I will be able to teach them. This may be due to the fact that any drill that goes longer than five minutes will result in kids sitting, picking grass and throwing it and rolling in the grass. Therefore our primary drills consist of them running around dribbling the ball while I try to kick it away and water breaks. That is right; they have discovered that if they do not like something we are doing they can just ask for a water break, meaning we are getting really good at taking water breaks.
Our first true test of skill will be on Wednesday when we are going to scrimmage the girls team that practices on the field next to us. I have been told girls mature faster than boys and I am quickly finding this to be true as I often notice the girls’ team practicing like a well oiled machine and running drills; as my team is picking grass, throwing their soccer balls at each other and doing summersaults. However, I do feel like this will be a great way to warm up for our first game scheduled for September 8. I am not too concerned with winning; I just hope the kids are having as much fun as I am because they are very entertaining.
By Clint Mix