If you’ve been following my blog you know that I recently started coaching a youth soccer team, and we recently went to the championship tournament. Let me say first of all I am extremely proud of the kids on my team. Their display of sportsmanship would’ve have made any parent and coach proud to be a part of this team.
When this past season first started I can’t deny that we weren’t very good. Most of the kids didn’t understand the basic rules of the game, and I admit that I thought at the beginning it was going to be impossible to teach them to play as a team. Since we made it to the championship tournament you’ve probably already figured out that these kids definitely improved.
I admit that I was nervous broaching the subject of participating in a tournament with my young players and their parents. Of course the team was all for it, but most of the parents looked at me like I was slightly crazy. Thankfully they are also extremely supportive, which is why I owe a lot of my team’s success to the parents. They showed up at every game cheering the kids on, and they also made sure that the team always had plenty of healthy snacks to munch on.
Throughout the season the kids and I both benefited from all of the practices and games. In case you didn’t know there is a lot of running in soccer, especially when you are just starting out. Sometimes after practice I swear I felt like I had run over two miles simply chasing down balls that got away from the players. By the time the regular season started the team and I had gotten into shape without even realizing it.
During the regular soccer season we won games and lost a few, but not enough to disqualify us from the tournament. While we ultimately were eliminated in the semi-finals I am extremely proud of the way my team performed. The kids played a great game every time they took to the field. They never bragged when they won, and they were the first to congratulate the team that ultimately caused us to be eliminated. Some of these kids displayed better conduct than a few of the parents that were rooting for us to lose.
Like I told the kids on my team there is always next year, and now that we are in shape it will be easier for us to train for the upcoming season.