Friday, April 13, 2012

First Soccer Games

My daughter has her first soccer game on Saturday. Technically, it's her first two games because we have a double-header Saturday. It's also my first games as head coach.

I'm excited! We have a great team! And, I don't mean to brag, but my daughter has the killer instinct. Here's her at soccer practice, massacring flowers.

Picture: Flower Girl

There is one main issue that the kids on our team need to get past if we're going to have any kind of success at all. And by "success" I mean "have all kids on the field actively engaged in the game at the same time, nobody using their hands, and nobody crying, for at least ten seconds." This is a tall order. That one thing is as follows:

Quit being so nice!

Here's the problem, people: we've all taught our kids to be loving little munchkins. We've taught them to not take other people's toys. We've taught them to share. We've taught them to not hit other people.

And now I'm asking them to throw all of that out of the window.

At practice all the kids have a ball. And I don't mean "have a ball" as in "have a party." No, they all have their own soccer ball. It's so that each kid can get as many touches on the ball during practice as possible. Kids my daughter's age don't really understand the concept of passing. They're not going to blast a shot from 20 yards out. They're not going to cross, head the ball or do give-and-go's. They just need to learn how to dribble and defend.

And that works great when everyone has one ball. But take anyone's ball away and then it's utter chaos. If there's only one ball on the field, nobody knows what to do. More importantly, nobody wants to take the ball from the other person, and nobody likes to have the ball taken away from them.

And, believe me, it doesn't matter how many times you yell, "Rip his head off!" at the top of your voice, or practice slide tackling techniques on one of the opposing team's parents. The kids are just too friendly at this age.

There's a great chance that we're going to be obliterated in both games on Saturday. There's also a great chance that none of the kids on my team will know what to do. As head coach, I take full responsibility for that.

I just hope they have fun. And, at the end of the day, if they have fun and are still loving, kind, sharing little munchkins, then maybe that's not so bad after all.

Wish us luck!

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