Youth Soccer At Its Finest
At the beginning of the 2015 season I got a phone call from the technical director of our soccer club. He wanted me to take my daughter’s team for the 2015 season. Quite frankly I was incredibly surprised. So much so that I didn’t give him an answer right then and there. The fact is I was actually looking to move away from coaching altogether.. I had been doing it for so many years. Anyway, the first thing I needed to do was ask my daughter if she would be ok with it. The other reason I found this phone call to be surprising is that this TD’s main mandate and what he always preaches about is that he wants to eliminate (where he can) having parents coaching their own kid. So again imagine my surprise when he called, offered me my daughter’s team and told me it would be a good experience for me AND my daughter. A bit contradictory to his philosophy, no?
Anyway, my daughter was ecstatic about the idea so I jumped on board. I was still apprehensive because I had some big shoes to fill but I decided to take it on. Almost immediately I found out I would lose our two top players to the older age group and that I would not have access to them whatsoever during our season. I won’t lie. I wasn’t too happy with that but that anger lasted a split second. I realized I had a great challenge and opportunity at my hands. Teach this team how to play like a team.
Long story short, I did just that. I got them to believe in themselves individually. I got them to believe that every time they stepped on the field any of the 10 players could score. In fact, unlike previous years it was difficult for our opponents to shut down any one player because at any given match it could be someone else who did the scoring. The proof was in how well the goals were distributed.
I honestly don’t think anyone, including the TD, thought this team would succeed considering the loss of the 2 stronger players. Not only did we succeed, we actually surpassed expectations.. undefeated, 2 goals against, first place and championship. I will go as far as saying that it actually irked some people.
The girls got accolades for their efforts from anyone and everyone… and rightfully so.. I was blessed with being told I was being replaced for the 2016 season. The reasons? As hypocritical as they can get. Pure manure being tossed in my direction. Garbage. I kept reminding the TD that I was a parent on this team before being coach and long enough to see all kinds of shit happen and to boot I was on the board for many years where I heard all kinds of stories about coaches and the nonsense that occurred.. coaches that still coach today..it fell on deaf ears. HYPOCRITE !!! From the club President I got the ‘it’s a thankless job’ email.. ya.. it should be thankless because of the parents .. i mean, let’s face it you will never make EVERY parent happy.. that’s par for the course..it should however, not be a thankless job because of the technical director who should be there to support volunteer coaches and all we do.
The bottom line is that there is this circle that exists.. and I get that this exists everywhere but if you are not in this circle forget about it. It doesn’t matter what u do, how good u do it, how hard you work, if u’re not in, u’re not in. Plain and simple.
Take a look at this nonsense…
One of the things I stressed with the teams over the years of my coaching is the need to respect your opponent. To the girls I always told them that when they stepped on the field, their opponent needed to understand very quickly that they would not be successful in beating us. However, there always had to be respect. When I knew that our opponent was weak I would tell the girls that after a certain amount of goals we’d stop scoring. We would work instead on the areas of our game. That’s how things should be done. A 16-0 score line? That’s how things shouldn’t be done. I wasn’t at the match so maybe i shouldn’t pass judgment but I am sure things could have been handled differently. I am sure. This garbage of course is acceptable and you know why??? That circle I wrote of. That circle.