Tuesday, October 10, 2006

I'm not a soccer coach

The season is almost over. Two games remain. This is about the fifth time I've coached one of my little kids soccer teams.

I love running around talking to them and helping them focus on the game and what to do. Not that they need much help, but sometimes they get distracted. Sometimes, they forget the ball is in play.

Each game leaves me with the uneasy feeling that I've failed though. In each game, there's one incident that proves to me I'm not very good with little kids.

We play three on three. That means if I have five kids, substitutions are unfair as far as the number of minutes each kid gets to play. And no matter what, some kid goes in and has to come out really quickly when there are five kids.

Tonight, two of them revolted and wouldn't leave the field. I talked to them at length about how five kids makes it unfair as far as the time goes, but they weren't getting it. They are kindergarteners and aren't interested in reason.

I finally had to take them by the shoulders and point them at the sidelines. I told them that they needed to go talk to their parents. One of them cried and the other one gave me the big lip. I didn't know of a better way to handle it. I started by reasoning with them and when that didn't work and the other team was waiting to play, I had to resort to stronger methods. I think if I had a bigger toolkit of methods to handle them, I could do better. If they were dogs, I would have thrown a ball for them to chase.

I suppose that's just part of the territory. But I wish I had a kindergarten or 1st grade teacher to give me some pointers on how to handle the little people. That might be of more value than a coach's clinic on how to run drills with them.

4 comments:

Pete said...

I've got two who just started second grade this year, so I've been there. Some kids that age are just that way. If they were my kids you were talking to, I'd be OK with how you handled it.

Eclectchick said...

You're a brave man and are doubtless doing a much better job than you think.

". . . there's one incident that proves to me I'm not very good with little kids."

Only one? I would have had 10 or more. Hang in there. You're doing a swell job, I bet.

Anonymous said...

Ah, I think they were just yanking your chain! I bet you're a great coach!

Jim said...

I bet a Kindergarten or 1st grade teacher could give you some pointers. I bet they could also relate to dealing with difficult kids who were never taught the word "no". My wife has dealt often with young kids in her work teaching swimming lessons at the Y. Most of the time, their parents are either too permissive or brats themselves.

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