Fourty-one Point Five

Last night I coached our first soccer game of the season. The kids did an awesome job. Though we didn’t get the win, the kids didn’t give up, gave 100% and they had fun. That’s the main goal I want for them; have fun and enjoy playing with their fellow teammates. The other team did play dirty and we had some injuries, but they sucked it up and continued to play. For those that want to know the score was 4-2. Now that we have the first game out of the way, we can now make the proper adjustments and put the right people where they need to be in order for us to start winning.

My oldest Daughter made me proud last night, because she got hit in the face with the soccer ball, she started to cry, but was doing her best not to. I immediately went from Coach back to Dad mode. I was gonna put in a sub, but she said “no daddy, I’m staying in the game.” After she calmed down, I gave her a hug and a kiss then she was ready to play. All I can say is that I felt like the proudest Dad on earth! She is such a a trooper. My youngest Daughter couldn’t play last night because she was sick, but when I got home she told me “Daddy, I promise to be ready for the next game.” These girls impress me every single day! While I was in the Army, I wasn’t able to spend time with them like this, now that I am able, I cherish every single moment.

I know I keep changing the subject, but I have a parent with a child on the team that has asthma and has never played a sport in his life, but his mother forced him to play, because she wants him active. At our first practice she told him that she wanted him to do something other than playing video games all the time or being on the computer. She asked me if I could motivate him to play. During our practices he really didn’t want to participate. He did the drills, but you could tell he didn’t really want to be there. Tonight, he was a totally different kid. He said to me before the game started, “I’m ready to play Coach, where do you want me?” I was shocked. After the game his mother came up to me and said, “Thanks Coach, you don’t know how much this means to me. You’ve done something that I’ve been trying to do for a while, getting him active.” That meant so much to me. I never in my life thought that I could have an impact on a child other than my own.

I explained to the kids before and after the game, that as long as you feel you gave 100% and you had fun, mission accomplished. Even though we lost the kids were still happy. I don’t care if we win or lose, I just want them to have fun. We’re not getting paid for this, so just have fun. It’s crazy how little things like saying good job and giving a high five makes a difference.

I coached soccer last year and my experience was horrible and I said that I would never volunteer to coach again. I asked my girls if they wanted to play and they said yes, but said they wanted me to be their Coach. I said alrighty then. Volunteering to Coach this year, was the right decision and I’m glad I did. Not only am I spending quality time with my girls, I feel that I am actually making a difference in these kids lives. That’s an awesome feeling. It feels good when you have a parent say Thank You Coach, this is exactly what my child needed.

It means a lot to me now more than ever that I am able to influence these kids in a positive way. Another reason I do it is because as a child I couldn’t afford to or wasn’t able to do things like this. All I want to do is try to be a positive Role model to these kids. At the end of the day if the kids are happy, then what else can I ask for?

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