八十四

Today was very busy. I can’t wait to win this tournament so we can go to state! We have been practicing our pants off. Tomorrow is our last day of practice, so it’s going to be a little intense, just to get the heart rate up, a lot of stretching and going over the very basic skills of the game. Some of the kids are so ready to play, that they making mistakes that they usually wouldn’t make.

So let me tell you how smart I was on Monday, Tuesday and today. The Head Coaches son is really good, he’s short, but quick, he can put his foot on the ball, it’s crazy how he makes it look too easy. On Monday, at the end of practice he says to me, “Coach Jared, can you help me with something?” I said, “Sure, what’s up?” He says, 1 v 1. I said What? He wanted to play a game of 1 on 1. Like the smart and intelligent man that I am I said lets do it. He scores on me, gives me the ball, takes it and scores a goal. That happened 3 times. After that, I said I’m done. At this point there are 3 kids in the wings waiting for their turn to go one on one with Coach Jared. I have had to schedule the Coach Jared 1 on 1’s  before and after practice. My own kids make fun of me when I fall or the ball gets taken away from me. I tell them everyday, that I’m old and broken, but they are kids, they don’t care, all they want to do is play soccer. So I fight through the pain and play. It feel good to actually be active again.

The first day we started practicing, the kids really didn’t know what I was doing on the field. A lot of them only knew me as being the Head Coach of The Tide. So I really didn’t say anything, I just helped set up drills, take pictures and grab jackets for the kids if the want them. Now that has all changed. The first day I didn’t take my cleats. Once they saw me with cleats and gear to play, I started to earn their trust. Now everybody always asks me if they are doing the correct drill or kicking it right. I know to you may say, “What’s so special about that?” If you ever get the chance to take a group of kids, that have the skill to play, and your job is to bring it out of them. That is a great feeling.

Overall, I think that we will do well, but if we don’t win, me and the Head Coach explained to the kids not to worry about it. He told them that they are making history, because Long County has never played in an All-Star Tournament. This is their first Soccer All-Star Team. They can say that they were the first to do it and they have some cool jerseys to wear. I’m proud of my girls for taking soccer serious. Now I have the Coaching bug. After we finish the tournament then we have to start basketball season. I will be coaching the 9-10 girls and my girls are going to play. From one busy sport to another.

Those that know me, know that I suck at basketball, but I can coach it. I know how to teach defense, offense, the proper way to shoot and all the other fundamentals of the game. If I have a  question, I will be asking you guys. A lot of you may not know it, but the girls appreciate the support and wish that all of you could see them play in person. I will be sure to take video and great pictures of the game so I can share with you guys.

#ROLLDAMNTIDE

*Note: I want to apologize for the quality of the pictures, I was using my iPhone. Next time I will my camera.

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65

Last night we had our 7th soccer game against a team that we have played 3 times, we lost, but the score was only 2-1; the previous game the score was 6-0, so my team is improving, it may be slow, but we are making big improvements. After we played them last week, my daughter comes up to me and says, Daddy, Jimmy (not the kids real name) called me a B (Bitch). I thought I heard him say it from the sideline, but I brushed it off. Now that she told me and 3 of her teammates confirm it, it only solidified my suspicions. This same kid that called her a (B) bitch also lives in our neighborhood. So, me being the responsible parent I thought that I was being, I went to talk to his parents. His mother comes to the door and I introduce myself and explain to her the reason why I stopped by. She says to me, that it couldn’t be her son, because he doesn’t talk like that. I told her that I heard him say it and I was standing on the sideline and 3 of the players on her team confirmed her statement. She then brings her husband to the door, as if I was supposed to be scared or something, and I explain to him the same situation. He also says to me, it couldn’t have been Jimmy because he doesn’t talk like that around the house, but we will talk to him about it. Now I want you as the reader to put yourself in my position, you hear it from your daughter. You hear it from the sideline and from 3 of your players confirmed it, and you want me to believe that he didn’t say it? Come on people, I may be from Alabama, but I’m far from stupid.

Last night we played this same team, as I mentioned at the beginning of this post and this same kid calls her a bitch again. I yelled from the sideline so everyone could hear me, that if one more person on this soccer field calls my daughter out of her name again, we are going to have some issues. Well, last night, the father of the accused kid was there. He said I know he didn’t say it, because I didn’t hear him say it. Of course you’re not going to hear it, because your on the opposite side of the field of play, which is near my goal post. So what my daughter and 5 kids from my team are making all this up and it happens to be the same kid that called her a B (Bitch) last week. Again, me being a parent as well as a coach I went to the opposing coach and said to him that if your players continue to trash talk and use curse words to my players we are going to walk off the field, because that’s not how my players are taught to conduct themselves and they aren’t taught that way of play. He then calls the accused kid to the sideline and asks him if he called anyone on the field a B (bitch), and of course he replies, No I didn’t call anyone that. Of course he is going to deny it to his coach with his father standing right there. I said, I know what I heard and I believe what I heard and what 5 of my players confirmed.

After the game, all the players lined up and said good game and all that good stuff, then as I go to turn around to go to talk to my team, the coach from the opposing team stops me and says to the accused kid, don’t you have something to say to him? I look at the coach and look back at the kid, the coach says that I accused him of calling my daughter a Bitch, but you didn’t say it, so that coach owes you an apology. I looked at the coach in confusion and said, I don’t owe him a damn apology. I myself, nor did any of my players do anything wrong. The director of the Recreation department was out there, because every team that plays this team always has an incident like this or have the coaches yelling from the sideline, you better not let that girl beat you or if that girl beats you, I’m going to make you run a specific number of laps after the game or practice. First of all, unless I am wrong, I will not apologize to a child and Secondly, because you are the coach that doesn’t believe in teaching your players good sportsmanship, don’t get mad at me.

It was also frustrating that I could hear the trash talking from the opposing team and see them getting away with hand balls and tripping, but as soon as one of my players did it, the infraction was immediately brought up by one of the opposing coaches. I said to myself okay, you want to play like that I can play that game also. If I had to walk to the middle of the field to stop the play for my players to get fair treatment that’s exactly what I did, because I thought it was the right thing to do. I did lose my temper, because I let this piece of crap coach get to me, but at the end of the game, I did apologize to my players for acting out and that we will not play like they do.

At the end of the day, we are doing this for the children. No one is being paid and no one is going to have a scout come from some Division 1 school come to scout a 10 or 11 year old. What I told my team at the beginning of the season, that when it gets to the point when you are not having fun anymore then we will not continue to play. Don’t think that I am not telling my kids to play aggressive, but there has to be a line where coaches need to get involved and make sure that the game is played fairly. I told my team that we have to play these guys one more time before the season ends and if they continue to play the way they are playing, we are walking off the field. I told my kids that by us walking off the field we are not being cowards or giving up, it’s to show that coach and his players that the way they play is wrong. My oldest daughter fell and before she could get up one of the opposing players was tripped by her leg and the referee called a penalty on my daughter for tripping. I almost lost my mind. I’m sure you guys have gotten the point that I am trying to get you to see. It’s not about the parents or the coaches, it’s all about the children. Just let them have fun.

 

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Yesterday, I had an emergency practice with my soccer team. We reinforced the basics to the kids. Making sure they are playing their assigned position. I think that if we continue to have productive practices as yesterday, there is no doubt that these kids will start winning games and making themselves known. I was very pleased with the practice. I forgot to mention in a previous post about our 3rd soccer game, my assistant coach was ejected from the game and couldn’t come back inside the fence that was around the soccer fields. He had a valid argument with the referee, but you know that you don’t argue with the refs, because if they see the coaches do it then the players will. His son received his 2nd yellow card this season. That’s another reason why we are losing because he thinks he is better than everyone on the team and when he doesn’t get the ball he complains to me or his dad. His father is really good at keeping him under control, but I had my wife, who played soccer in high school helping me out on the sideline. That’s why our second half looked better that the 1st.

I am going to move some players around. I have this one kid that is very quiet, but when he plays soccer, he is aggressive, he just needs to work on the fundamentals. As soon as he masters the fundamentals, he is going to be an awesome player. The guy that played goalie, kept asking to play goalie, so we put him in the position. They scored 3 consecutive goals, because he is playing away from the goal. Yeah, I was pretty upset, but it seemed like he was ignoring me. I explained to them that if I am talking to them during practice or during a game and they want to continue to talk or not pay attention, the ones that are not listening are going to run laps or not practice. I already told them that if you don’t practice, you don’t play. That was explained to them and their parents day 1. I don’t want to be a butt-hole coach and be mean to the kids, but I will not be disrespected. I told them that if I turn my back to them then practice is done. I guess the word TEAM is a hard concept for some of these kids. They want to be the “David Beckham” of Long County. 

As I stated in previous posts and we will get it together, I promise. I want you guys to have faith that we WILL win some games and I can confidently recommend some of my players for the all-star team. 

29

Today was my soccer team 1st scrimmage. Lets just say we have a LOT of work to do. Today was the first time that I have actually been able to see who can play at what position. Of course, it seems like they gave me all the players that have never played soccer, but I’m a decent teacher so we should be good. In soccer you can explain and talk about a certain position, but until you actually play that position, then the kids shake their head up and down and say they understand what I am talking about. It looks weird with me trying to show them how a drill or play is supposed to be done. I’m BROKE & OLD, but I still do my best to show them. It would be embarrassing to me if my friends saw me trying to show these kids how to play. I look ridiculous. Hey, it’s all for fun.

That’s the main thing I am trying to teach the kids. At the end of practice or at the end of a game, if you feel that you have given 100% and you had fun, mission accomplished. All I want the kids to do is have fun. I do want to win, but I really don’t care about that. I want to make sure they have the fundamentals down, then we work on trick shots and all that other good stuff. The team we scrimmaged today, is an awesome team. The majority of the players are on a traveling soccer team, so they play with each other all year. After the scrimmage I went to the coaches, who are good friends of mine, and said to them that they didn’t have to do us like that. His reply was, we took it easy on you guys! That made my confidence level shoot through the roof, NOT! Of course, there were no kids around when we talked about it. We have some work to do, but it’s going to take some time. We will get it together, it might take all season, but these kids will be better at the end of the season than they began.

I do have some parents that are competitive and they were getting on to their kid for not playing a certain way. I had to say hey, it’s just a game. Nobody is getting paid. Let the kids have fun. If they’re not having fun and you force them to play then that’s when you start dealing with attitudes. If you are shorter than me and a lot younger than me, you aren’t allowed to say the word attitude around me. I’m trying to teach them to play together and have fun.

Pretty interesting day. Parent/Teacher conference went my way and had a good practice. I’m happy, my wife is happy and the girls are happy. Today was a good day for us REGULARS.

21.5

Today was my 1st soccer practice. It went pretty well. I have 11 players, 8 boys and 3 girls. My girls are on my team and haven’t played in 5 years, but they did a great job today. We have a lot of work to do before opening day. I didn’t play soccer in high school, but I coached last year so I have a little experience. The strengths on my team are: they play well together, follow directions and can dribble for short distances. My weaknesses are: stamina and endurance, ball control, kicking power and they all want to gravitate to the ball.
Today’s practice all I focused on was the fundamentals, dribbling, cutting and taking a shot at the goal and they did a lot of running. I plan on starting and ending every practice with a lap around the whole soccer field. If they don’t listen or get to rowdy then I’m going to make them take a lap. I know there are some soccer players out there, do you guys have any ideas for drills? Today we did back pedaling then sprinting, suicides, shuffling side to side and passing.
Overall for my first practice it went very well. If you guys have any suggestions or ideas I am open to them. This is my second year coaching. Last year I coach 13 & 14 year olds. This year I’m coaching 10 & 11 year olds. I can say that the younger group of kids is a lot easier to work with than teens.
I feel that this year will be different, because last year out of 10 games we won 1 and that was the last game of the year. Maybe they felt pity for us, who knows. As long as I continue to teach the fundamentals and we improve every practice, we will do well. Last year I was just thrown into the fire, but this year, I’m taking more of a coaching role. It feels pretty good. As I said before, if you have any suggestions for drills or plays, don’t hesitate to let me know.