Archive for the ‘Soccer coaching’ Category

catching up with 2016 – Halloween

18 March, 2017

Oh yeah…the past year.

A few days before Halloween, MrCuddles had his last game of the season. The field was horrible, there were holes in the field, most of the grass was torn up, mud everywhere, an inch of standing water on most of the field, conditions so bad the players couldn’t pass, dribble, or shoot. Awesome! Field conditions took away every advantage the other team had. And by random chance, somehow (also with the help of Andre defensively kicking a ball out of bounds) we managed to either have a tie game or even a win. First time this season. It had been rough for our better players and/or players that cared, because our team was terrible. (One poor kid, he had five shots on goal one game, and missed everyone of them by a few inches.)  MrCuddles…he participated in all practices (I was assistant coach), he participated in games (sometimes he was WAY off-sides, he said it was so he would be ready to shoot a goal), he had a couple decent dribble drives up the field, a couple decent shots on goal. I think it was successful for him. I mostly had fun as assistant coach.

The past Fall 2016 Soccer for MrGrunty & MsSqueaky… a lot of mud. One game, I feared MsS got emotionally broke, because her goalie was barking out orders to her, and she took it personally, and refused to go back in saying “it’s too muddy.” Another game, on a turf field, (which was against a coach who was trying to micromanage individual players, like playing Nintendo, during the game, “Courtney two yards left! Susy ahead three yards then turn right!), MsS was beast goalie of the game, only got scored on once, she had a couple easy stops, but once she had to be brave and put her face down in the zone where players were kicking. MrG…working better with teammates, got a couple of assists, got some goals, using his left foot. But what I liked about his season, he is really excited and joyful when a teammate gets a goal, but when he gets a goal, he’s more laid back and business like.  The WORST part for me… picture this, you arrive to the field early Sunday morning, soon, all the team is there, you look around, proud, well organized, some grandparents are there too, people happy for early game, easier parking, plans for later in the day. Did I mention one of the grandparents was in a wheelchair? And the weather was alright too. Wait a minute. There are six fields, and we are the only team here. What? Check schedule that I printed, yes… quick (actually slow) internet, phone call to opposing coach, who said, “oh yeah, weird stuff has been happening with the schedule, the game is this afternoon.” That is embarrassing.

Halloween 2016. The childrens had the day off, and I was lucky enuff to spend it with them. (Seems the teachers take a Monday off every month for paperwork, training, catching up, meetings, planning. OK by me.)  We headed North, to a corn maze. The place was, VERY muddy. But we basically had the place to ourselves. MsS lost a boot, she sank so deep. I just threw away my old shoes when I got back home. We had the place to ourselves. The childrens wandered off around the kids corn maze, which I got lost in. There was a rope maze, so you could see everything, but had to follow the maze. MrC finished first. MsS got super mad at finishing last. We picked out some pumpkins. For trick-or-treating that night MsS was a warrior, MrC was a soccer player, MrG …well, I tried to turn him into a mummy, but he ended up looking like a kid covered in rags and he didn’t like it. They went out with a bunch of their friends. (I went to work that night, because, sometimes, you gotta go back to work.)



Last weekend

1 October, 2016

soccer, MrG and MsS had mirror image shots, where it the ball clanged loudly off the goal post. I am happily finding out that MsS has gotten better at soccer since last year. When/How? I dunno. MrC…so much fun watching him, he’s getting involved, being assertive, learning.

Teaching Bible class to a new young group (…I’m learning that all my tricks that I used for my fifth grades, that I spent several year teach…well, I need new tricks.)

But…my favorite part, MsS told me as we were picking beans at the local farm. “I didn’t want to come here. I’m glad we did. I really like harvesting.”  We also picked corn, zucchini, chard,…



12 September, 2016

The girls left us boys alone this weekend…so its time for shenanigans stories.

I’m the assistant coach for MrCuddles soccer team. (Because he asked, and then pointed out that I had coached MsS and MrG two seasons each…sigh, kids with their memories and sense of fair.)  We showed up to our practice and… hundreds of people were there for another scheduled event. So, we had less space, and I was more stressed about being in the way, and the boys, were boys, and kicking the balls all over, and not really listening, and the head coach got to hear me mumble swear words under my breath.

Back home, dinner and a movie!  They watched “Zootopia” again. I like the movie, it’s well crafted.

Saturday… MrCuddles first soccer game of the season. And, I’m happy to say our team did alright. Nobody got cleats in the face, because that’s what our boys do, handstands…just because, usually when people are close to them, or during a scrimmage. We did get plenty of handballs called against us. Srsly, I tell them in practice, do not touch the ball with your hands, the soccer ball is radioactive. MrCuddles, he was sorta engaged, and actually a couple of times was paying attention and playing. (Huge improvement over two years ago when he just refused.)  He even got the ball on a breakaway, and dribbled down towards the goal, solo, and took a shot.

Saturday afternoon, we did a few chores, then went to see “Kubo and the two strings”. I enjoy listening to MrC and MrG play with each other, usually they don’t, usually it’s MrC and MsS. MrC’s BFF came over, and all three played.

“Kubo and the two strings”. Great movie. It’s beautiful. Well told story. Good music. Go see it. I hope to see it again soon.

Note: MrG has been helping out at MrC practices. We have him ref-ing the scrimmages. He helps with drills. He asked during a drill, “should we run from the other side, so they get practice shooting with their left foot?” YES, absolutely, so glad you thought of that.  I think he’s gauging his defense on the players by their skill level. Because we, like every team have a large variety.

Church…it’s funny, because MrG didn’t want to go, as usual because “I don’t have any friends are there”. AND, I’m told by her mother, that MsS BFF didn’t want to go because MsS wouldn’t be there. And yet, two hours after worship was over, all the kids were still happily playing together. Yeah, we were there two hours after, because I was chatting with other parents…good to know my kids are normal. Good to know of what challenges are on the way.

MrG had his first games of the season…three short games. He always seems to look for the pass. He has good footskills. It was a nice day for soccer, and the parents, most of who we have known for a couple years, are a good bunch to hangout with. I guess we start keeping score now, (although the kids have been keeping score since we taught them how to count). First game we did well, second game was even, third game we didn’t do so well. But all three were close-ish. So that’s good.

Oh yeah…MyBetterHalf and MsS…they went to a GirlScout leader-daughter camp. Slept in a chilly open air cabin, and were back home Sunday afternoon. MsS was tired.



soccer coaching

25 August, 2016

On the way to soccer practice yesterday, I was very excited, and praying that traffic would be kind enough for me to go nine miles in 45 minutes.

After soccer practice,  was hoping that I didn’t just [bleep] up.

I didn’t want to coach, but MrCuddles was kind enough to point out, “you coached MrG and you coached MsS.” So, I’m coaching a bunch of seven year olds. Well, lucky for me I’m the assistant coach.

Recently we were talking, MyBetterHalf told MrG …maybe he could be the assistant coach. MrC, who has been listening to me, piped in, “then you would have to make the coach coffee.”

(Also, as another sign they do listen to me sometimes, the other day was playing basketball w/ MrG, the ball went bouncing over the side rail of the deck, and deadpan MrG says, “should’ve dove for it”.)


Soccer vs piano recital

2 November, 2014

So…maybe I didn’t notice it as a kid. Or maybe my parents didn’t know enough to correct me. But it seems that at a music recital, the parents do not point out the mistakes the kid made during the event, but in sports, the parents will keep telling the kid what to do, and what to do better next time.

This past season, one of the funniest …a parent shouted at the kid “pay attention” and the kid looked at the parent, away from the game, and yelled back “I am paying attention!”

Last soccer games of 2014

1 November, 2014

MrCuddles played in his game!

MsSqueaky…cold drizzle. I had to run back to get MsS goalie mitts for her teammate to borrow. (The coaches bag of soccer supplies was stolen!) I brought hot cider for halftime. Not sure if that was a mistake, because since I was close to her’ she relaxed a bit and cried to me about a finger injury. I snuck away, her coach got her back to OK, and she was playing strong again for second half. At halftime, when they switched goals,…the sun came out, and blinded our goalie! After, coach handed out trophies, the team gave him a jacket, then we went for brunch.

MrGrunty…so…last year he would get very upset at losing, or making a mistake…a few times I had to carry him off the field because he was on the ground crying. This year, he was much more mature and better at dealing with his negative emotions. I mentioned this to him, started with stating how he was last year, and he interrupted, with the saddest voice, “Papa, I am getting better” I hugged him tight, and yes, very much reassuring him, he was getting much better. This year, he got upset twice, one time the night after he spent the night with a friend. The other time when he got shoved, (that team was very physical and/or clumsy…they were knocking down my team, and each other a lot), when he was making a goal. This season he and I had an agreement, I would call out to him, and ask if he was OK, and he would give a thumbs up or thumbs down.

MrG last game…he almost booted the ball over the 12 foot fence. I joked to other coach “three points for field goal, right?” Our youngest player was real close to the goal, and we parents were cheering, and he got the goal! (MrG got a goal, too, but I was busy with the boys on the bench.) There was a fast break by other team, one of their boys was 10 yards ahead of everyone, dribbling straight towards our goalie. MrG did not give up on the play! He sprinted as fast as he could to try and catch the ball, and got pretty close too. Last four minutes of the game, I put in the four boys from last year, and let them finish together. After, all the parents of both teams together did the “victory tunnel”, which is what I’ve wanted all season. Usually, each team has their own VT. (Parents make tunnel with their arms, cheering as players run through.) only about half the teams did it this year, I think the boys are getting too old for it. But our boys enjoyed it for our last game.


18 October, 2014

Soccer Saturday

MrCuddles took to the field and played soccer with his team during a game. I’m told, he was cold, didn’t have a jacket, and MyBetterHalf told him he would warm up if he was running around.

I attempted to be a ref foe MrGrunty’s game. MrG did some fancy footwork to get past a few guys. One of his friends was on the other team, and they were chatting a bit during dead ball.

MsSqueaky was wonderful again. Love watching her play. She and one of her BFFs were communicating and passing to each other. She made a goal, when goalie was not paying attention. And, special surprise, her school teacher was there to watch.

Soccer practice

13 October, 2014

Tonight, after soccer, one of the boys asked me if I was going to coach next year. My ego started thinking of why I was so popular with the kids, I’m fun, I listen to them, I’m nice to them, …” Because I like hot apple cider!!!” the boy exclaimed.

Yeah, I brought hot cider tonight to practice. Yup, I expect to be getting my coach of the year nomination in the mail…

Creativity rants

11 October, 2014

…so, when I was growing up…which, true was a long time ago… “They” said one should study music, dance, theatre because helps creativity. They never mentioned the creativity of sports. (Remember, my egotistical and narrow, definition of sports, two teams, actively trying to stop each other, from doing something with a ball.)

I played a lot of concerts, 4th grade through 12th grade. There was not much chance to express myself on the viola. First thing, I had to play the notes, (varying amounts of success) and do what conductor wanted (less success). You can’t do your own thing in an orchestra. There’s not much room for creativity in orchestra.

As I watch my childrens play soccer, they have a goal in mind, very simple one, but people are trying to stop them*. They need to on the fly, figure out a way to get past an opponent, to see the ever changing field and quickly decide what to do.

I’ll end with the argumentative “Athletes are more creative than musicians in the orchestra.”

(Currently the childrens are banging on drums and piano upstairs.)

*regarding “actively trying to stop you”…please cue up The Blues Brothers “Stand By Your Man“, where the band plays while having beer bottles thrown at them.

Keeper MsSqeaky

6 October, 2014

Saturday…I took MrCuddles to his soccer game. I. Even brought kid sized folding chairs in hopes that would encourage him to sit with his teammates. Nope, the usual for him, off playing, wandering on rock wall, no interest in playing in the game or being close to the field. It’s his choice. He gets so few choices, we nag him about doing chores, school, bedtime, potty-time, …and soccer is his chance to make a decision. So, I gotta respect his decision. But, when it was after game snack time, we left without him getting a snack. He was very upset about that.

MrGrunty’s game. Not fun for me… A boy got upset in goal box because too many people were shooting on him at the same time, while I was blathering with opposite teams coach. I should have organized the players with instructions. I was telling a player who was goal keeper to “throw the ball to a teammate.” And his dad then told him, “just kick it.” I tried to explain that he has no control when he kicks. The dad then told the boy to kick it if he wants. I shouldn’t care. And I don’t know much aboot soccer. However, I’m pretty sure that a player is supposed to listen to the coach. And when we give them conflicting messages, it’s not fair to them, and starts on the path of not listening to coaches.

Thankfully, one of my favorite parts of the week. Watching MsSqueaky play soccer. She was goalie when I arrived (from MrC game). I’m told she missed the first few, but coach kept her in. I saw her stop a ball, I cheered extra loud to let her know I was there, she smiled at me, then threw the ball to her team mate. She stopped a few more. When her team scored she cheered from goalie box. (Did I mention she was wearing HER goalie gloves that she and I spent an afternoon looking for. Very good purchase!) Second half she was on the field, and there was more wonderful to watch. Before a kickoff, she ran up to each of her teammates, said a few words, pointing at an opposing player. She had an assist to her BFF who got a goal. MsS even scored a goal, I didn’t think it would go, the box was crowded, but she followed through and kicked it in.

Later that night, MsS spent night at her other BFF. And MrG’s friend stayed night with us.