Monday, August 28, 2006

hard part of soccer season

For me, the hardest part of coaching soccer is the initial phone call. We play in the local AYSO league, and I've been coaching Big Brother since his second U6 season. Prior to each season beginning, the coaches all meet at a local church where we get our packet of team info, the info on each player and our practice field and time.

I really enjoy coaching the kids, and I love getting the chance to play even when it is with a rowdy bunch of 6-8 year olds. What I don't like is calling the families. I can call people I know, but I hate that cold call feeling you get when you have to introduce yourself to people you've never met to inform them that you are their child's new coach and when you've scheduled the weekly practice.

I don't know why I so dislike that first call, but I do. Once that first call is out of the way, we meet in person at that first practice. After that I don't have any problem calling them if I need to.

The final parent just called me. I made all the calls last night, but I was unable to actually talk to this family, leaving a message on the mother's voicemail. I don't trust the voicemail in a situation like this, so I've been expecting to call again at some point to be sure I talk to a real person. She called me just minutes ago ending the wait. Now all my team members have been contacted, and everyone knows what they need to know. The weight of the initial call is finally off my shoulders. It's a mild WooHoo moment.

So now that the hard part is over I can look forward to the fun part. One of the mothers even mentioned her willingness to coordinate the snacks as well as the end of season party, two more of my least favorite chores. I can't wait to meet my new kids and get on the field. Practice starts tomorrow night.

I also attended my own first practice yesterday only to learn with some dread that our first game is two weeks away. I didn't run that much, yet I have the sore calves today to suggest either I did run more than I think or that I'm in much worse shape than even I thought. I guess them's the breaks.