It was down to the last 4 hours. Someone needed to volunteer as coach or the 8 little dudes who signed up wouldn’t get to play soccer this season. One of those little dudes was mine….my little B wouldn’t get a chance to play because a parent couldn’t step up. Oh my heart strings, oh my little buddy—- crraaaaap, I thought, I’ll do- I’ll coach soccer.
I am from Michigan, we do Football, Hockey and Basketball. Pretty much in that order. The only soccer experience that I can think of are both dreadfully painful…. In elementary school I was playing around with my brother and he shot it full blast, a perfect kick, right in my face. Now this wasn’t a beautiful header like see the pros do….this was a scream and hollar because my brother, legit, just kicked a freaking soccer ball IN MY FACE. Ouch, it still freaking hurts. So, I knew I didn’t want to teach that move. lol
The other soccer experience that stands out in this brain of mine, is a fun memory from high school (you can hear the sarcasm….right???) So imagine you are in high school PE playing soccer and this amazing, beautiful popular girl is on the other team. We are matched up fairly well– she winds up to take a kick, I run to block it….because lets face it, I’m competitive and awesome…..and it was high school so apparently I was fearless too. She lets her leg go and boom cracks right into…..the ball? No No silly, my my shin. Freakin’ freak ouch….Full force into my leg. The limp still hurts thinking about it. I dropped right to the ground, I couldn’t walk, I didn’t want to cry– cause you know, I’m in high school and you never let them see you cry—-. It hurt so bad- like a labor pain in my leg. I am so happy bell bottoms where my jam back then (and now) because I had to have an ice pack on that for days. O man it hurt so SO bad.
So going into this coaching thing I had all the soccer wisdom of— 1. don’t get smacked in the face with a soccer ball and 2. wear shin guards. Argh, but we aren’t in Michigan anymore, we are in the PNW. A place where the Sounders are the professional team – not just any team….the 2016 Champions at that, and everyone plays soccer and coaches and gym teachers have kids wear shin guards. They know their stuff.
What on earth was I thinking….what am I doing, what am I doing.
The Good Stuff Is On The Other Side Of Your Comfort Zone
I decided to learn the game, learn the rules, learn the positions, learn that the field is a called a pitch. What, a PITCH, crazy, I know. I did this because at the end of the day, I was simply coaching 8 first grade boys. I can handle some little dudes and I was doing this for my son. I just needed to remember to breath.
Deep breath. Inhale, exhale. Repeat.
The first practice was full of smiling faces and me doing alot of deep breathing because at this point it was game on. See what I did there, GAME On? I was feeling super excited because I had come up with 5 drills and had practiced them in my head about a million times. I thought it was going to be perfect….that should take up the better part of an hour.
Waaaat waaaahhhhh……… boy was I wrong. We blasted through the drills so quickly I felt a bit of panic set it. It was the first practice and I wanted these boys to LOVE it. What was I going to do to fill the time??? Luckily there was another parent helping who had great knowledge of the game and a bunch of drills up his sleeves. It all worked out.
With each practice I gained confidence in the game, and in myself as a coach. The boys were working hard and always smiling. In my book that’s a win. But was it enough for a game. We would soon find out.
Our first game was amazing. The boys were full of energy, I was full of coffee and ready to do this. I knew the basic rules, in bounds, kick offs on center line, ball goes over goal line it’s a score, etc. Let’s do this.
I didn’t have a line up planned out. You know, whole who plays where on the field. I just didn’t even think too much about it— retract, I didn’t never realize it was something to think about. Crap. It’s 4 on 4 so I just tapped 4 little dudes heads and said you are in! I made sure to sub players and offer frequent high fives. Jumping high fives are like super amazing when you are a 6 year old boy, especially on a soccer field. We ended up losing the game, but the boys were all full of smiles and off to the season we marched with our heads held high.
And then the email came in. A parent had some ‘what for’ and ‘advice’ for me as coach. I don’t really want to get into this part too much, as it’s a whole different story that is best told over a hard apple cider or wine (I like the red kind). I will say this though, if your child is participating in a league with parent volunteers as the coaches….just be cool. None the less, this email crushed my newly minted soccer heart. I was giving it my all, I really was and all it takes is one email to crush you. My son came in the room all smiles with his soccer ball and I was reminded who I was doing this for.
Rise above. Mom up—
We just powered through the season.
Every Saturday for 8 weeks we played soccer, #soccersaturday
The season went on, the boys were improving. A bit of that muscle memory was starting to kick in and it was just alot of fun. Before I knew it it was time to plan the end of season party and say until next season.
What I learned from coaching my child’s soccer team is that I can do awesome things, even when they are on the other side of my comfort zone. It’s ok to try something new, mess up and then go after it again. It’s OK. At the end of the season, the kids were happy, parents said they wanted to keep the team together for next season…so I said, OK, I’ll coach.
The last game of the season my son scored his first in game goal. He came running towards me with a huge smile jumped into my arms and said ‘I did it, Mom, I scored a goal’. That moment right there was worth it getting out of my comfort zone. It was worth learning a new game. It was worth everything.
I did it…..and I love it.