This is a busy week as they all have been recently. I am once again the head coach for the boys’ soccer team at the local middle school. I coached in previous years, in large part, because Isaac was a player on the team and I enjoyed watching he and his friends play and leading them to do their best. This year I am coaching just because I enjoy coaching. I still like to lead the boys to do their best and I certainly don’t mind winning games. We are currently 6-0-0, a record in which the team and I both share a lot of pride.
It’s a lot different coaching the team without one of my kids playing. I really enjoy seeing my own kids playing hard and doing their best to work together with friends to win a game. I like seeing how they interact with their friends in a more direct way than one might get from casual interactions. It’s also a little weird having to be careful to ride the line just right so as to be the adult, but not embarrass my kids too badly. Without a kid on the team, I still get to see (in this case) young men grow up, learn to work together, and struggle with coolness and girls and parents and all the fun things related to middle school. I don’t have to worry so much about embarrassing my kids anymore though…that part is pretty cool. Still, I reprimand them as they try out their new “adult words” and I try to show them restraint and civility.
Those two things were in danger of being lost in our most recent game, but we all managed to keep it together. As I mentioned, I like to win with the best of them, but for the life of me, I cannot understand how some coaches and parents absolutely lose their stuff during practices or games. In our most recent game, the opposing team’s coaches were apparently encouraging dirty play (or at least allowing it) and even resorted to calling one or more of my players names from the sidelines…the coaches were name calling! It’s unbelievable. Prior to our game, the girls’ team played a game which ended with the opposing team’s coach being ejected from the game. I don’t get it! Anyhow, we won and won well without humiliating the other team or calling them names.
I think one of my favorite things about coaching soccer, with or without a kid on the team, is that I get to make a mark, be it large or small, on a few young men about what it looks like to be an adult. I am only one of a number of influences on these guys and, indeed,most of them have many very good people around them. I am just happy to be (hopefully) one more of those positive influences. I am definitely not fishing for praise…mainly just getting some thoughts out after a frustrating interaction with the other team in our last game.
I mentioned a few weeks ago that I was the head coach for the middle school boys’ soccer team. We finished the season last night with the county play-offs where we won 4-0! During the regular season, we had a record of 11-1 which made us the number 2 seed.
Semi-finals games were played Monday where we beat the number 3 seed. In a big upset, number 4 beat number 1 which left us to play the number 4 seed for the championship game. After some political nonsense, we finally got to the final game Wednesday afternoon where the boys were super excited!
I played soccer and other sports too as I was growing up. In particular though, I played soccer in high school and I was a fair player…certainly not good, but tolerable. Still, I liked sports and enjoyed time on the field. I do not think I was ever as in to it as the boys on this team were though! Their energy was electrifying and I think I got more hyped up than I have been in a long time!
So, anyhow, we shut out the other team and ended our season on a super high note! I am so proud of these boys and truly enjoyed the last few months getting to know them better, teaching them what I could and encouraging them to be good young men!
Soccer is back in season for both kids. It’s a great time of year but also a bad time of year. We love the game and the kids on the teams and the fun but we quickly get tired of non-stop running. I am the head coach for the middle school team on which Isaac plays. Especially now, in the time leading up to the start of games, practice makes us very busy. We try to practice 5 days a week for a couple hours each night. I have to contact other coaches to schedule games and there are always meetings to attend.
I really enjoy the boys and I have coached a large number of them in rec-league and middle school since they were 7 or so years old. I have a great group of boys and I look forward to watching them succeed. It’s really tough this year, however, since Isaac cannot play…at least not yet. It’s not clear whether he will play at all, honestly, but we are hopeful. It’s more than a little frustrating for both of us. I do like coaching the boys but the best part of it would have been the opportunity to coach my own son. His blood clot seems to be on the mend but he is still on blood thinners and cannot play because of the risk of a hard contact that would cause a dangerous bleed.
I am definitely committed to the boys on this team, but I just wish things could be a little different. Isaac still gets to come to practice to participate in the non-contact drills but he does not enjoy having to sit out for the majority of each practice. I figure it is good for him to be around friends though and also to see me follow through with a commitment. Our games start next week so I figure that the team spirit will carry us all once things get rolling along. Wish us luck dear friends!