Sunday, February 19, 2006

soccer and snow

It's snowing again. Our forecast for the next week is a crappy mix of rain and snow. I need to get busy calling my team. Our first practice will be scheduled for next week, and our first game is much too close. This will be the third year that we've been involved with soccer, and the fifth time I've coached Big Brother's team.

And it's snowing again. It got just warm enough today to melt most of the snow, and as of my last smoke break, it was snowing again. I had to hide in the garage.

We did have at least one practice last spring in the snowfall. I would prefer not to have to again, as the novelty wears off really quickly.

I'm getting excited with the coming season. I love coaching the kids, though I don't know how well I'd do with older kids. At the U8 level, I feel I do a great job. With kids this age, if you can have fun with them, if you can let them see your love of the game, it seems to bring some of the same out of the kids.

I want my teams to want to win just as I want to win, but there's so much more than that, so much that's more important. I ask that they learn and that they do their very best. I explain to them clearly that all I want is there very best. I trust that if they and I give our best to the team, we will all learn, we will all have fun, and we will win more than not. I hope that I can have the parents transmit that same ideal to the kids also.

With the parents in mind, I want one day to defeat the worst soccer cheer ever, "KICK IT!" which is too often really not what you want from your team. In a sense, we want to insist that they do kick the ball as that is the main form of motation on the field. But random kicking of the ball is very counterproductive. I'd love to nicely convince the parents that the majority of the cheering regimen should be the following few phrases, where appropriate:
-CONTROL!-This one is my big one. To me, the entire game revolves around issues of control
on many different levels.
-GO ___(name of team/child)___!-I really want to teach healthy levels of both personal
repsonsibility as well as the unity of the team as a unit.
-DEFENSE!-never to be underestimated is a strong defense that is aware of it's value, especially in soccer when so much emphasis is on the attacker.
But I can't come up with a way of suggesting this that I'm sure that I would be okay with hearing. I'll continue to consider this.

I really am excited to meet my team. This is our first all boy team, and I'm curious if I should expect it to be that much different from a similar group of boys and girls. I get to spend tomorrow trying to catch up with all the families to let them know when we start practice. Then I'm basically done for a week in which I wish fervently for good weather and find a book at the library to get me fully into a coaching mindset.

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