Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Youth Sports as a Microcosm of Society, or "Why it's Great to be a Coach"

As my kids have grown up, we've eventually realized they needed some sort of competitive activity to prepare them for life as an adult, or we just wanted them out of the house for a few days a week during the summer. Either way, being Italian in heritage, and having played for years myself, soccer was the sport of choice. Also the extreme amount of running and low equipment costs were attractive.

Let me warn you, if you don't have kids, of you do and they have not yet played on a team of any sort, you will be amazed at the emotion that comes out of even the meekest people once their kid gets on the field. I am not meek, so naturally I had a hard time watching my daughter's soccer team play. Even worse were the practices. No wind sprints? How is a six year old going to build endurance without a few laps before and after practice? After all, these are my memories of playing when I was a lad. So after one season, I took it upon myself to coach my daughter's team. Ever see "Kicking and Screaming"? That movie is a lot funnier when you are a coach.

 This season I coached Sophia's 8 year old team.  I'd like to think I'm a lot softer on the kids than my coaches were.  No laps, but I do get them to do some sit-ups and leg lifts.  When they learn the mental part of the game, and seeing them get rewarded for doing what was asked of them is probably the best feeling as a coach.  Example:  During our last game, the smallest girl on the team, instead of following the ball to the corner, took off to the front of the net where she got a great pass and scored.  You just don't get any happier for a kid than that.

Anyway, it IS a lot of work, so a general pat on the back to all of you who coach youth sports, and those of you who have kids in sports who appreciate your coaches.

1 comment:

  1. you are letting your Italian heritage slip...laddy!