Tear free soccer? Let’s hope so…

Several moons ago I coached Ace’s soccer team.  I played soccer my entire life and even enjoyed a soccer scholarship in college, so it was my hope that Ace would enjoy playing it as much as I did.

This was a not an uncommon scene during those precious father/daughter soccer moments.

I hate my coach...

I hate my coach…

I have no idea why she and I butted heads, but we did, a LOT.  She didn’t want to listen and I’m sure I had a much shorter fuse back then.

This picture was when Ace was four or five years old.  She’s ten now and still plays soccer, but I no longer coach her team since we moved to a new area and coaches were already in place.

She doesn’t play because her daddy is trying to live vicariously through her soccer success by any stretch of the imagination.  Quite the opposite, she is asked each year whether or not she’s interested in playing and we give her every opportunity to quit and do something else instead.  She chooses to play because she likes the girls on the team and has fun. That’s the point of sports at her level of competition, so we’re fine with signing her up and forking over the $100 it costs for her to have fun being part of a team.

As with Ace, I have no plans to force sports upon my boys either.  Would I like for them to be interested in sports and even excel?  Yes, I don’t have any qualms about admitting that. I’d love to rush home from work someday to watch one of my kids playing for the varsity team in a sport of their choosing.   But, I won’t lose any sleep over it if Cool or G$ tell me to pound sand when I ask if they’re interested in signing up  for soccer or baseball or whatever.

So far, Cool has been interested in playing anything that involves a ball.

Yeah balls...(giggity?)

Yay balls…yes, that’s me with a Bud Light Lime and flip flops on as usual.

Those who’ve followed this blog for awhile know that Cool is the runt of my little litter. He’s just recently made his way up to the 19th percentile in height as a four year old.  In spite of his small stature and ginormous brain, he has always been pretty adept when it comes to sports.  He can hit a ball tossed to him very well for a lad his age and he’s got some pretty decent soccer skills as well. Not bad for a kid who didn’t walk until he was 20 months old.

As was the case during T-ball, there were not a slew of parents begging and pleading to coach the pre-Kindergarten soccer team, so this old softy volunteered when it became clear that others were not going to step up and do it.

I’m a little better prepared this time around as I have lessons learned from coaching Ace’s team as well as my recent stint as Cool’s T-ball coach.  I had such high hopes and grand plans for how that season would play out, but then the reality of getting four year old boys took over and all those plans were swept aside.  Boys like to roll around in dirt and play grab ass with each other.  It was insanity trying to get them to pay attention for even brief stints of time.

Try as I did to make if fun, T-ball is boring at times to the little ones because there is a lot of standing around.  Soccer can be different.  I’m hoping to make drills seem more like games and keep the kids interested for most of the hour long practice sessions.  I’m also hoping that having girls on the team as well as boys brings some level of decorum to the squad.  Girls seem to be a bit less savage and more able to listen than four year old boys.  I don’t know what age they lose that ability, but it’s later on in their little lives.

So I’ve dusted off my cleats and read up on my coaching little ones 101 book in the hopes that crying is at a minimum this season, unlike it was all those years ago…

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32 Responses to Tear free soccer? Let’s hope so…

  1. abbbz says:

    omg, I haven’t tried sports yet- since my two boys are 16 months apart I saved myself the aggravation of one being allowed to play while the other had to sit on the sidelines…i don’t want to subject myself to that!

  2. ardenrr says:

    Good luck with all that! I think you’ll need it…. You couldn’t pay me enough money to coach a bunch of .. what do you call them? … oh yeah, little fucktards. No, thank you!

  3. Christina says:

    Classic picture. First kid always gets the brunt of it. I don’t save up for college…I save up for therapist bills.

  4. My poor son had a lot of pressure to play baseball since my husband’s family is ALL baseball and our nephew is going pro. He was a pretty good hitter and pitcher and my husband coached for many years. They did have a lot of disagreements but not therapy worthy. My son got sick of all the baseball expectations and pressure and took up competitive bass fishing. He was “hooked” from day one and now has a world record on a fish he caught. So, I guess whatever they choose to do ends up being pretty darn ok. 🙂

  5. coaching your own kid isn’t easy. take it from my husband. but he’s still in it to win it. and it’s generally more positive than negative.

  6. Nice post. I can sense your pride and smile when reading it. Have a blast. And break a leg.

  7. I can actually respond sensibly to this post. (don’t brag) My college girl leaving here…(sniff sniff-woo hoo) Friday, is an all star athlete. Her favorite sport is soccer. She loves all the sports BUT she left softball in HS her freshman year to play soccer. I was stunned. Not to mention, having NO idea what this game was all about….I could not keep up. I still cant. But, I have to say, Soccer is one physical active sport!! whew. Good job ace! and good job dad!

  8. adixon210 says:

    After running an after school program with 80 kids ages 3-13 I can confidently say boys have a harder time listening at each age level. Girls are more apt to pretend to listen while whispering secrets to their best friend of the moment. At any rate, good luck, when I tried to teach my kindergartener and first graders basketball, they all turned against me quickly. The key is throwing your dignity out the window — which as a father, I’m sure you’ve already had to do =)
    And on another note, my dad was my coach for softball and basketball literally my whole life and although I hated how many times he’d tell me to “TAKE IT TO THE LEFT, DAMNIT ALY DO A LEFT LAYUP” I was always secretly glad he was my coach and appreciate the memories.

  9. How’s that working out for you? lol My son was given an ultimatum this year, because it’s time for him to get active–he has to play 2 out of the 3 sports offered at his school. Football practice starts in a couple of days. . . .we’ll see how it goes! He’s 12 and is already 5’9 and weighs about 160 pounds and is still growing about an inch per month, so he will be a force to be reckoned with, if he can learn how to take a hit. I will be nervous as hell, but will try not to show it!!

  10. Amber Perea says:

    Chris was an all-american soccer badass that played football, too. Yep, one of those super jocks. Jp can’t understand a crap ton…but he knows drills for both sports. I can’t make that up.

    Though, I’m secretly hoping to get him into parcore and throw him on American Ninja Warrior. 😉

  11. djmatticus says:

    Good luck! Coaching soccer is still one of my fondest memories… and if the little prince chooses to play, I hope I will have the opportunity to coach him again. (I coached two seasons for 9 and 10 year olds while I was a senior in high school – so amazingly fun; I learned just as much from them as they learned from me.)

  12. tric says:

    My husband loved and excelled at Gaelic Football ( a lot more exciting than soccer, in my opinion).
    We have one son. He is nearly 19 now and would rather shoot himself than kick a ball! Two of my girls though are good gaelic sports players. My husband was recently the goalie on the girls u 11 team as they were one short!

    • I guess I’ll have to Google Gaelic Football. You Irish just have to have your own version of everything, don’t you?

      • tric says:

        Maybe we had it first and brought it over to you and others! Many young talented Irish gaelic footballers travel to the US each summer to play with US gaelic teams.. They are put up for the summer and all accommodation paid for in order for them to play with american gaelic football teams. So much you don’t know really!

      • Especially about gaylick stuff! There are a lot of proud Irish people over here though so it’s not surprising.

      • tric says:

        “Gaylick!!!” I’ll get the boys after you! Surely there is some big american irish policeman I can report you to for such a slur on our manly national sport. 🙂

      • Damn iPhone autocorrect!! We have a good sized McDonough, yes. I’d tell him.

  13. Just have a beer before-hand… always works for me!

  14. Maggie O'C says:

    Herding squirrels.

  15. Daile says:

    Parenting 101 – flip flops and beer. I’m taking notes in case I ever spawn

    • Flip flops and beer are the only way to go, but wine can be substituted in for the beer or a combination. I don’t recommend the liquor as it makes some of us lose it too fast and those kids will thank you to not vomit on them while in the course of changing a dirty diaper.

  16. I don’t enjoy many sports. I especially don’t enjoy baseball. I have never offered to put any of my kids into any baseball-type team, because I am sincerely unwilling to sit in the heat and watch them.
    My son played soccer, and a bit of basketball, and one of my daughters still plays soccer, loves it, and that’s not too bad. She speaks often of playing more sports, like volleyball and basketball…I encourage her to try new things, so long as it’s not baseball.
    I think the little one might naturally be a runner. I’m pretty sure track meets were often in the heat..Oh dang! LOL I might encourage more tumbling!
    I’ve noticed that my husband feels he is a soccer coach, even when he’s NOT…I’ve also noticed my daughter doesn’t listen to any of the coaches, or daddies who think they’re coaches…and she’s pretty vicious on the field..hard to believe she’s such a good-natured child off the field..but that’s why they play sports, right? It’s an outlet.
    Good luck with the drills, etc — surely that overtired, crying person is more adaptable now 🙂

  17. The Hook says:

    What can I say?
    Good luck!

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