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.