Soixante-seize

Tonight was my last soccer game. I was happy, but sad all at the same time. I was happy, because I get to rest a little from being a head coach and play the assistant for a little. I was sad because I actually enjoyed being around these kids. They taught me a lot about myself and all that yada-yada! No we didn’t win 1 game this season, but out of the 11 players that I had, 10 were happy either way. The last one has some anger issues, but his Dad was my assistant coach, so his Dad had him taken care of.

If it weren’t for him and another parent that has coached before, I would have been up shit creek without a paddle. Yes, I did coach last year, but the kids were older, so they already knew the fundamentals and could coach themselves, and let me also mention that we lost every game except the last one, which I couldn’t share with them because I was sick. People always say they could coach better than so and so until they are put in that position. I sure got a wake up call last year and this year. It’s hard to see potential in someone and bring it out of them. While I was in the Army it was easy, you just made them do it until they finally realized hey, I need to do this and like it or I’m going to be forced to do it. You can’t do that in that civilian world.

You can’t talk to children like you’re talking to another adult, you have to first break it down in your head, put it together before you say it then say it. Yes, I’ve had 10 years of practice with my own children, but that’s a different bond. I can talk to them any kind of way I want, but I don’t because why would I treat them that way just so they get treated like that in public? I treat my children with the upmost respect as should any parent, but boundaries need to be set so they know when it’s play time or this is something serious.

Okay, back to the subject of this post. I also had to pick 4 players for the All-Star team, which was easy and hard at the same time. I wish I could recommend them all just for their effort and putting up with me for the entire season, but you can’t do that. You pick them for the “All-Star” because they are the best on your team. I picked my two girls, before you jump to conclusions, the Coach for the All-Star team asked for them by name, so put that in your pipe and smoke it! BOWWW!!!

I’m at awe when I see my children do the things they do. It’s crazy. I missed so much and I am now just barely getting caught up. I can say the last time my girls played soccer was in Germany, 2008, and they were 4 and 5 years old. The only thing I focused on during practice was fundamentals. Some of the more experienced players hated it because they thought it was boring, but I said I’m the Head Coach so do it. I tried doing awesome drills, but if you can’t dribble or pass the correct way, then how are we as a team supposed to move on to more advanced drills? Last year, I said that I WOULD NEVER COACH AGAIN, but my girls wanted to play so I said that this is an opportunity for me to bond with my kids. They already have the bond with Mom, but now it’s Dads turn. It’s a great feeling.

The other two players I chose, the 1st one was a no brainer, his mother coached the All-Star team in a neighboring county for I think 3 years or something like that. This kid is the exact kid you would want on your team. Before our 1st game, during practice he told me that he’s played defense and he didn’t care where he played so I said I wanted him to play defense. Not only can he play defense, he can play mid-fielder and forward. He played wherever I needed him and did not complain. Awesome kid. His parents have taught him all the right things sportsmanship and all that. Of course this is the kid of the parent that coached an All-Star team.

The second kid I picked, the coach didn’t want him, because of his attitude and he plays waaaay too aggressive and with that type of play he is going to get a red card. My alternate that I had I really didn’t want him to play, because he showed up to my 1st practice and last one. I’m not sure if it was his parents couldn’t get him there or what, but he can play. He can be a ball hog at times and picks the worst time to either call for the ball or pass the ball. He has the skill to be a great player.

Being on the All-Star team the player and the parent sign the All-Star contract. We have 12 slots with 3 on stand-by. If you don’t show up to a practice without it being excused by the head coach, your done. This is “Big Boy/Girl play and rules now. Slide tackling and all that stuff you can’t do at Rec Level it’s allowed. Single elimination. The head coach of this team is awesome. His kids are unbelievable. Daughter doing bicycle kicks, she’s 10! His son is small, but quick as hell can dribble, cut, stop on a dime, his foot may be small, but he can boot it the length of the field. I really believe if he tried he could score from goal to goal. It makes me sick the way he plays.

I know that at the beginning of the season I put out that my goal was for the kids to give 100% and have fun, but deep down I wanted so bad for them to win. We had the potential, just couldn’t get on the same page. I’m on the sideline screaming like a mad man, but as you see by the number of games they won how effective that was. Maybe it was me, maybe I wasn’t was trying to make sure all my players got playing time and not worrying about the overall team. I will say that at the beginning of the season I called myself the “Black Nick Saban” right now my overall record is 1-15. It took Nick some time to come up with the “PROGRESS” it didn’t happen overnight. My domination is coming. I just have to be patient and play my role. It will happen. It may take 3 seasons or 30, but it WILL happen.

Let’s get serious, I enjoyed teaching kids that have never played the game before to understanding the concept, fundamentals and what good sportsmanship looks like and what bad sportsmanship looks like. I now have to get ready to be the assistant and soak up every single piece of soccer knowledge the Head Coach is going to put out there. My girls are going to be complaining, but to be the best, you have to train and work with the best. I know the saying doesn’t go like that, but guess what? I DON’T GIVE A DAMN!!

Time to get my girls in the right mind frame for the hell they are going to encounter. They’ve seen how the Head Coach coaches during softball season and a little taste of soccer. I told them, they will not quit. I also told them if I see them slacking off and not pulling there own weight and they want to whine and complain then I will take them off the team. We will see how this rides out. I will most definitely keep you guys updated.

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