WHAT ARE THEY DOING DOWN THERE?!

Look, I get it.  Sometimes we’re a little too burned out to give 110% at 7:00 at night.  Sometimes you’re phoning it in because it’s all you can do to get through the day.

But when you agree to coach then you’re committing to bringing your A game for the kids. You’re human, you’re allowed to have an off day, but that cannot be the norm.  You have got to show up.

So while I typically go by the motto of put up or shut up – meaning if you didn’t volunteer to coach then keep your opinions to yourself – at a certain point I can’t help asking what the hell they’re doing on that field.

I managed to sit through exactly two and a half of T-man’s practices this season.  Two and a half. That’s about all I could stomach without decompensating into a mad woman, screaming from the bleachers and no doubt sending my kid into a shame spiral once the coach heard me bellowing Oh for the love of all things holy, DO SOMETHING with those kids.

The number one thing that makes me jump out of my skin?  Drills with fifteen players standing around while three kids run a play.  How can you even call that soccer?  Only three kids are touching the freaking ball!  In a forty-five minute period T-man only ran the actual drill five times.  Five.  Which means for half of that night’s practice my kid touched the ball every nine minutes.  What was he doing the rest of the time?  Looking at the sky, goofing around with the kid behind him in line, or just sitting with a glazed stare as he waited for a turn.

Give me a break.  That’s not soccer, it’s a bad P.E. class.

I’m also not down with mass punishment in an effort to create a team pressure cooker. Someone forgets to pick up their water bottle?  Everyone runs two laps.  Come in second on a passing drill?  Losing team runs a lap.  See, I get having the kid who’s late run an extra lap before practice.  It gives that particular player an incentive to get their butt to the field on time, but those other examples?  That just makes kids pissed at each other, which is pretty much the opposite of fostering a team mentality.

I’ll be the first to admit that coaching can be a thankless gig.  Sometimes the days are long and hot and the kids aren’t listening worth a damn, but that’s the deal.  No one sweet talks these guys into volunteering with promises of free beer and nachos.  They don’t agree to coach after being told they’re in for high fives, kids always on their game, and parent raves every night. Coaching has its positives and negatives, and just like anything else you get out of it what you put into it.

Which is why I’m stymied by folks who don’t put in the effort.  It’s not like I expect you to spend hours a day on soccer, but are you honestly telling me you can’t come up with better skills work than drills that involve only three people at a time?  It’s called the Internet, people.  Use it.

Or risk the wrath of mama bear hollering from the sidelines.

14 thoughts on “WHAT ARE THEY DOING DOWN THERE?!

  1. I agree with you 100%.
    My favorite coach was my wee girls’ first soccer coach. She’d separate them into squads and stations. They’d run drills and everyone had plenty of turns doing each thing.
    There are at least HUNDREDS of soccer drill videos on the net.

    I kinda don’t agree with punishing late kids. How often is it the kid’s fault and not the parent’s?

    Liked by 2 people

    • Bear’s got the best coach — kids are always moving, always touching a ball, never standing around waiting for a turn. I go back and forth on the late thing. At this age the kids don’t drive so I figure 95% of it is parents, 5% kids not being ready to go on time and such. Fair to give them a lap? Maybe not…or maybe they push harder to get there on time? I know my kids help me out when I lose track of time. It can go both ways.

      Liked by 2 people

      • I’m amazed anyone allows their kid to take the punishment, but the other comment really got me thinking, and I can see how that particular coach got them to arrive on time.

        Like

    • Totally agree with you re punishing the kids. Unfortunately if nothing happens the parents will not step up either. We had some parents in my daughter’s team who were always dropping off their kids late. My husband, who is coaching that team approached them a couple of times about being late and to please make sure to be in time, in front of their daughters, explaining that it’s not good for the team and the training session and so on. Didn’t help. Until he didn’t let the girls who constantly came late play. When the parents then approached him he explained that he had decided to only let the girls play who’d take practice seriously and who would arrive in time (always). Even if that meant that some of the better players were not playing. He punished the girls in not letting them play but I swear, they were dropped off on time from then onward… problem was solved. He hated doing it but it worked.

      Liked by 2 people

  2. Another one that gets me are the coaches who their “favorites”. I remember coaching middle school soccer. Had to put in an hour or two after a full day of teaching only to go home to have to get supper ready. It was non-stop. I loved it, mind you. But it made it tough to bring my A-game every day!

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Now that is so down my alley! Well said! I have my fair share of experience here on many levels. First of all I’m a mother of girl who plays and loves soccer. Then I’m the wife of her teams coach. Then I’m the responsible person of all girls teams U8-U11 in the club she plays. Boy there are huge differences in the way those volunteer coaches approach the task. Some of them make me develop hives!
    I’m all for volunteering but honestly, if you can’t commit then better leave it. Some of them where such a disappointment. Your experience sounds similar to many things I’ve witnessed over time. Some simply don’t care, some only focus on their couple of “stand out players” while the other kids, who would first of all love to develop skills and have a kick, second of all are the ones that need the guidance and training the most and last but not least are part of a TEAM too, just stand there and (because soccer is a winter sport down here) get cold…
    It’s when you get to the point where you want to walk over, grab those guys and shake them hard. But then you can’t because if they just drop it, will someone else step up and take over?

    And then there are the great guys. The ones getting it and making it fun for the girls and getting the weakest player in the team to suddenly become one of the key players because they invest their passion in all of the team. And it’s all good again.. If only their would be more of them stepping up to volunteer… 😉

    Sorry for the long rant…

    Liked by 1 person

    • I’d say you have more than your fair share of experience! You’re right…finding those volunteer gems is a tough job and depends far too much on luck. I look at our athletic director and think man, I just couldn’t do that. Between wrangling the coaches (some of whom are awesome and some who need a class on people skills) and dealing with irate parents…let’s just say it would take all the love out of the game for me. Big time thanks for stepping up and helping girls have a chance to play in your area.
      Oh, and rant totally justified. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

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