This soccer season I volunteered to coach soccer. I have played soccer since 1st grade, so I thought it would be a breeze. Boy was I wrong.
Coaching eight eight year olds is not easy. It is hard not to yell at them when they aren’t listening. That’s why I believe that when you coach a sport self-control is needed.
On the first day I arrived and found where to go for practice. I met the assistant coach and the kids. I didn’t know what to begin with. The assistant coach did not help. She said, “You are the coach. Figure out what to do first.” I had to remember what we would always start out with when I played soccer. The kids were running around chasing each other. When I called them over they continued to run around. They would not listen to me! When it was time to transition to another activity they would continue to do the same one.
They got a little better at listening to me. Then my birthday came. That was a nightmare. We had a game that day. We played against the best team of their age group. The kids did not know their positions very well, and still had to work on sharing and passing the ball. The other team had the best players, that knew their positions, and played well as a team. They had way more players then I did. My team was losing badly. The kids were tired, but I couldn’t sub every one out at once. I wanted to scream out in frustration. It wasn’t easy to be positive about the game.
Over the next few weeks they were listening to me, and everything was going great. Then the girls discovered the pine tree. They were picking the needles off the tree and smelling them. I told them to stop. They did not listen to me at all. They wanted me to smell them too. I wanted to yell at them, but I managed to control myself.
During another game one of the girls was taunting a boy. He started attacking the girl. I told the boy to leave the girl alone, but he wouldn’t listen at all. I had to separate them. I wanted to yell at them both, but instead I had a little talk with them. (NO yelling involved.)
I coached for five whole weeks. The assistant coach only showed up for six days. She was supposed to bring water and extra soccer balls. Only four out of the eight kids would bring a soccer ball. I had to come up with alternative activities because of the shortage of soccer balls. We ended up doing a whole bunch of practice games called scrimmages, with another team.
Over this past soccer season I had my good days and bad ones. During the whole experience I learned to control myself. It was not an easy thing to do, but I got through it.
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