I'm coaching my daughter's 2nd and 3rd grade girls soccer team. I coached my kids' soccer teams a few times in the past and have never felt comfortable with my coaching skills. Maybe this season will be better and I have realistic hopes that it will be.
I attended a coaching clinic that really helped me understand what the kids need. One of the fundamentals the clinic taught was that kids need to touch their soccer ball as many times as possible during practice. (Note that I worded that last sentence very carefully and it still sounds questionable.)
With that in mind, I'm avoiding the types of drills that require lots of explanation and standing in lines. Last season, I was an assistant coach. I had attended the same clinic and was really looking forward to putting the clinic's lessons into action. However, the head coach was not buying it and she had the kids standing in lines and listening to lots of lecture stuff. Because I'm the head coach this season, I am running it the way I learned in the clinic.
Another reason to be optimistic is that the kids are older than in past seasons. 2nd and 3rd graders can pay attention for a few more seconds than K and 1st graders. Those seconds are just what I need to get in an explanation and then get them moving again.
Last night was my first practice and it was a blast. The kids said they had fun and I believe them. I kept them busy doing fun drills. The drills were really just games like tag with a soccer ball. I bet none of them have ever had as many kicks during a practice before. I didn't let them scrimmage. I'll save that for next practice. It's obvious that some of them really want to compete. Some people are born competitors and some like to rub dirt in their hair. But no matter which type they were, they were tired and had fun.
This will be fun. I'll update my blog about it and try to put the word "soccer" in the title so you can ignore it if you want. If you ignore the soccer posts, I