Kicking Some Balls

small cycle

I am not particularly athletic, but I could have been. I used to be a great runner and somewhat of a tomboy. I am now particularly lazy, and I really shouldn’t be. I had potential. Now, it’s gone. Right out the door along with the desire to be good at a sport. At least that’s my story and I’m sticking to it. I had the ability, speed, and stamina to succeed at sports, but I wasn’t allowed to participate. My mother used the excuse that it would make us girls too boyish. And the excuse for the boys was that she was afraid they’d get hurt. Truth be told, she didn’t want to waste her time driving us the forty-five minutes to and from games, not to mention the five mile or more distance to meet the after school activity bus.

So, I was never really too interested in watching games. If I couldn’t be a part of the action, the heck with it. That was until my owns kids started playing sports. Yeah, I was the sports mom that ran up and down the sideline screaming for my kids and everyone on their team and AT the other team. No, I really wasn’t totally obnoxious…only somewhat.

This leads up to why what I am going to tell you is such a joke. When my oldest son was eight, the soccer league could not find a coach for his team. They asked me. I said no. They asked all the parents. They all said no. Then, they held a meeting. They asked each one again stating that if we left the meeting with no one agreeing to coach that the team would be dismantled. The first eleven moms and dads again said no. I was all that was left. I guess Dirt Man must have been smart enough not to attend. Then ALL the parents looked at me with those “don’t disappoint my child” eyes, and darn it, I said yes. What kind of a parent would I have been if I had not allowed my son the opportunity to play? I guess the same kind as the other eleven, but I didn’t want that on my conscience. Did I have a “stupid” sign taped to my forehead or what? Seriously, the only soccer experience I had was running up and down the sidelines yelling and organizing snacks and phone trees.  I even cheered when they kicked in the wrong goal! What the heck were these people thinking?

This was before I had Mr. Google at my fingertips. I went to Barnes and Noble and bought every book I could find on the basics of coaching soccer to kids. And thus it all began. Making matters worse, was the fact that all the fathers who refused to coach made darn sure they went to every practice and tried to tell me what I was doing wrong but refused to step in when I’d graciously offer them the volunteer coaching position. Well, it became a personal challenge not to just teach the kids how to play their best and win games but to teach those dorky dads to get the heck out of my face if they weren’t going to help. I had another mom offer to assist me. Let me tell you we kicked @$$! We only lost one game the entire first season. And we (not the kids) let those dads know it! In fact, we volunteered to coach the next season, but I had her coach, and I assisted her. We rocked! Oh, and the kids did, too!

It just so happened that when my second son was eight, there seemed to be another shortage of coaches. Why the heck does no one want to coach eight year olds in soccer? I’ll save that answer for another post. Anyway, I decided that fair was fair, and I volunteered this time. Yes, you heard that correctly, I VOLUNTEERED. This league did not keep scores. Good thing, ‘cuz we sucked! Anyway, there was a man that was coaching a team and he happened to be a good friend of a woman I worked with. Apparently, he enjoyed watching me stumble around trying to practice with the kids and diligently reported my antics to her after each practice. I tried my best to get a field far a way from him, but he continued to have tales to tell on me. Long story short, even though we DON”T keep score, my team clobbered his and that was even counting the goal my own son inadvertently made for the his team! How do I know that? Because, dang it I kept score! Sweet revenge, oh yeah!

I never coached again after that year. I’m still wondering why the local high school didn’t ask me to coach their school team. Oh yeah, I think that “stupid” sign on my forehead was replaced with “loser”. Or I could just blame that on my mom, too.

55 thoughts on “Kicking Some Balls

  1. My daughter plays competitive soccer and it’s still hard to find a GOOD coach.

    My husband coaches my son’s bb team and the parents are all armchair coaches. I don’t sit by them.

  2. Hooray for you, telling those dads they could coach if they didn’t like the way you were doing it. And good for you for taking something you were pressured into doing and making it fun, for both yourself and the kids.

  3. Yay for Suzicate! Way to step up and be the hero of those eight year olds. And you know you were.

    My husband coached Sean’s Pee Wee soccer team (kindergarteners!). It was a blast going to the soccer games and the kids loved him. Once, our goalie got himself completely caught in the net. What a hoot!

    ♥Spot

  4. OK. You are hilarious!! A stupid sign? Ha!! I am so glad you kicked butt! Goes to show you that volunteering gives you blessings. Or something like that.

  5. Good for you.

    My son’s soccer team (9 year old) has an opening for the spring. I should drop your resume.

    Our league does not keep score either, but ask any of the players, coaches, or parents and they can recite every game’s statistics and results off the top of their head. It is odd.

    On a side note, I finally got around to thanking you for the award on today’s post . Sorry for the delay.

    • Isn’t it funny that parents still instill the winning/losing aspect rather than sportsmanship? Part of human nature, I guess! And no worries about the delay, all happens in due time!

  6. OMG, SC…just the post title alone is BRILLIANT!

    “Kicking Some Balls”

    Bwhahahahahaha!

    And kudos to you for stepping up to the plate and being a super soccer mom. I so admire you!

    You ROCK, girl!

  7. I spent many a year on the soccer field with both my daughter and son. Though I was never a coach, my husband was. I have to admit, we were both pretty intense about it…but never at the expense of the kids havig a great time. Parents tend to get caught up thinking their child will be the next great soccer star (who is that anyway in the US?) or that they will get a full ride to college. Ego, ego, ego..we all have pretty strong ones. It sounds like you learned a lot that season. Good for you. The best part is all the time you got to spend with your son. This is the lasting memory you made!

    Susie

  8. Oh, I’d be staring down those bleacher coach dads so hard, a fire would start in the stands! Good for you! And yes, I believe in keeping score. This trophy for just showing up thing is coming to an end, me thinks. You’re linked!

  9. I love this. Sweet vengeance indeed! You rock for doing this for your kid! Winning, losing, really doesn’t matter to the kids. They just want to play and need some caring parent to make that happen! Good for you!

  10. I love this!

    It’s amazing what we do to help out our kids, isn’t it? (Or should I say, the things we get roped into…)

    And often, they make for such great experiences and lessons, whatever happens.

    (Which may explain why there’s a Latvian living in my closet.)

    • BigLittleWolf, and Linda, Yes, we do what we think is impossible and never thought we’d dare to do when our kids need it. I hope they remember this when it’s time to send me off to the nursing home!!!!!!

  11. seems like every parent I know has some sort of story like this one. Coaching is a thankless service to your kids and their friends. But it sounds like everyone had fun making friends. Good for you!

  12. “What kind of a parent would I have been if I had not allowed my son the opportunity to play? I guess the same kind as the other eleven”

    I laughed for, like, five minutes at this line. Love it!

  13. Oh girl! Funny how everyone gave you those “don’t disappoint my child eyes” yet refused to step up to the plate themselves. You were awesome because if I had those dads in my face, I don’t know if I could have kept an even temper! I bet you were a rockin’ coach!!

    -Jen

  14. Oh my goodness…you were describing the scene at the soccer meeting and every parent saying “no” to coaching and then all eyes rested on you and I could feel my heart start to race and I swear my palms started sweating! I am horrible at saying “no,” too! I feel your pain!

  15. Love it! Great story! I have to admit though…While I like coaching the kids individually to make their skills better, I’m not liking the basketball coaching thing…for a couple reasons. 1) one father is too hard on his 5 year old
    2) the other coach wants to “practice”…and unfortunately cannot attend himself, so he wants me to do it at 7pm on a tuesday. My kids are in bed by 7:30pm! Not gonna happen again. I have grumpy kids when they lose sleep.

    SO glad it worked out for you though.

  16. In a similar story, I coached little girls’ softball for several years despite the fact that I barely knew the shortstop from the bat boy when I started.

    And, like you, won a fair amount!

  17. So funny SC, seems like we have a few things in common, very similar thing happened to me when one of my sons was about the same age, his soccer team was coached by the principle of the school and the P.E. teacher they had lost every game so far, we showed up for practice and all the kids were there but no coaches, a friend of mine who also worked at the school “Mrs. Lois” showed up with the equipment saying that the head coach was on his way but the assistant couldn’t make it, long story short I jumped in to help the kids practice, opened my mouth when no coach ever showed up saying I will be a better coach than these guys, Mrs. Lois and I coached these kids rest of the season with only one loss.

    The things we do for our kids huh

  18. I am so impressed that you coached, and won!! good for you! I too was completely unathletic, despite coming from a very athletic family (at least the males were) and I’m sure I could’ve done at least okay had I been given an ounce of encouragement. but *sigh* that was not to be. so i’m especially impressed that you overcame it anyway. I still won’t play even frisbee or volleyball or softball in groups…too self conscience. however I was a good soccer mom (spectator).

  19. I think it’s great that you stepped forward. I’m afraid I’d have been one of the other eleven…but then if you witnessed my sporting prowess you’d understand why!

  20. I always wanted to coach little league. When I finally did I had absolutely no help at all coaching the kids. I’m sure if I had a helper I would have at least won one game, but we lost them all. I did not volunteer the next year (they didn’t even ask me if I wanted to return–how sad).

  21. My parents did the same as your mother..No sports for any of us, exspecially the girls..that was too boyish.

    Soo many different layers to you, I would have never even known where to begin on teaching soccer. Kick the ball and don’t touch it with your hands, that’s all I know! LOL!

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