Well here we are...my boy turned 4 in July and to play soccer you have to be 4 before August 1st. I signed Ryan up and offered to be an assistant coach. Not having ever been involved with soccer at this lever I was kind of nervous about being a head coach. Once the sign up time had passed the league said we had enough kids for 4 teams but only 2 coaches and 1 assistant. I immediately volunteered to be head coach. They managed to convince 1 other parent to be a coach so all the teams ended up with a coach. If you have never been involved with really young kid soccer then you wouldn't quite understand that saying coach is a bit of a misnomer. Our age level is pre-K and Kindergarten. Most of our team is 4-5 year olds with a couple that turned 6 during the season. Practice at this age is way more challenging to the coach the coach's patience than it is a physical challenge for the children. Most of the time it seemed nearly as futile as trying to herd cats. The attention span at this age is roughly 20-30 seconds if it is something they are really interested in. Anything else the attention span is even shorter. Then the challenge becomes how do you begin to instill teamsmanship, rules, and soccer skills to these kids. For the most part you don't!!! I spent a lot of my time at practice feeling like the practice was running me instead of the other way around. However most of the drills (I call them games) actually instilled a few hints of soccer skill. I did my best to make sure that every kid had a ball at their feet as much as possible. The following series of photos is from the first of six games for the season. Notice that even during a game paying attention and playing soccer is second, third, or sometimes not even on the list of interests. This experience was one of the most nerve wracking (at least initially) things I have encountered. On the other hand, the rewards I received are more than can be put into words. I had a really wonderful group of parents that were willing to help and never got competitive. They all realized that while we might not have been the best team in terms of wins, our team (Blue Dolphins) had more fun than any other team on the league. Watching these kids progress through a few short weeks was fantastic. All in all I think I did a decent job of coaching. This was confirmed when I had several parents and kids ask if I was going to coach again in the spring because they want to be on my team.
September 12, 2009
This is very typical of what you find in youth soccer games. Here Ryan and Aiden are more interested in seeing who can reach the highest.
The weirdest group of soccer players ever....they entire team wanted to be goalie. The teams I have played on 99% of the team is doing everything they can not be goalie.
Little brother Eric came out on this beautiful day to enjoy the spectacle.
Ryan with a goal kick while my assistant coach Scott helps him figure out what to do.
This apparently immobile boy is what we saw for the most part in his first couple games. He would run out onto the field. Then a kid on the other team would beat him to the ball rendering him stuck in the mud for the duration. There was one point where he actually blocked a goal for our team because he was just standing in the way of his own player. ;)
Rut roh!!! Ryan found out the Eric was here to watch. At this point I lost Ryan from the team for most of the second half. He was more interested in hanging out with Eric and Mommy.
I can't hear you coach!!!!!
A few words of wisdom preceeding the start of the second half.
Lining up to shake hand with the other team.
Here's Ryan taking a goal kick.