This season I volunteered to coach my sons soccer team. I know the game and started playing when I was 5 years old and played up until highschool and loved it. I’ve been out of the game for many years but I thought it would be fun and I wanted to make sure there was enough coaches so all the kids that signed up to play would be able to. I noticed things were done differently than how soccer is usually played last season and I wanted to teach them the right way. I hoped to at least teach them something. After signing up I learned that this is just the way they do things here. We split the teams and play on 2 small fields at a time. One coach on each field playing coach and ref. It does help to get everyone more playing time, just different from what I was used to.
The U6 age group is probably the hardest group to coach. You are trying to get 10 or more 4, 5 & 6 year olds to listen while having them run around a field. And that is a LOT of energy all in one place! And it seems like the season ends as soon as it starts. It started a couple weeks ago and ends next week already. All this rain this year has made it hard to get any practices in to actually work with the kids. But at this age it’s mostly about the kids having fun. To get them out there and let them get the feel of the ball and see if it’s a sport they like. If they enjoy it, they will learn it.
Here are a few things I’ve learned this season:
1. My kid isn’t the only one who has way to much energy. This can be a good thing and a bad thing.
2. All that energy wears out fast when they are constantly running back and forth around the field. Towards the end of the game you can really start to see them slow down. Especially when everyone didn’t showed up and you don’t have any subs so they have to play the whole game.
3. Soccer comes natural to some kids. And I love to watch them play. Others not so much. Maybe they haven’t been out there enough to get the hang of it yet or maybe it’s a sport their parents want them to play and they could care less.
4. The excitement on the kids faces when they score a goal is priceless! I Love seeing that look of accomplishment and feel so proud for them. My team and the other team.
5. When the kids are off in another world instead of in the game, it makes for a rough game and a game of patience. I was told after one game by a parent that I must have a lot of patience. I don’t really but as a coach it’s my job to give and show that patience the best I can. That was a rough game. I think I did everything for the players on the other team except kick the ball. (Physically move them into place, turn them around, line them up over and over and over again… They were in another world that day.)
6. Some kids are just whiny. Period.
7. Some kids are very clingy. They want to hold your hand and hug on you non stop. I don’t mind hugs and high fives etc. but when you literally have to peel them off of you constantly when you are trying to coach a team, that can be a little much. I don’t know if they are needing the attention or if that’s just their personality.
Even with everything, the good, the bad, the annoying parts and all the raining days, I’m glad I’ve been able to coach this season. I’ve met some really great kids and have enjoyed watching them play and have fun. Just wish the season lasted a little longer. Tonight a little girl on my team brought me a picture that she colored for me, it was so sweet. And my son loves that I’m his coach. He is sure to tell everyone which makes me happy to know that he enjoys my involvement.