Mutiny on the pitch

It didn’t take long. Adam just had his first soccer practice, and already the parents are planning the coach’s ouster. From what I hear it might be deserved, but I’ve never coached little kids so what do I know?

First, there was the last minute way it was organized… as in: nine o’clock the night before we got a call from the coach – complete with a shopping list of what Adam would need.

I suspect she’s a stay at home mom – not that there’s anything wrong with that.

When the kids showed up the next evening our coach organized a game of tag. Meanwhile, the other team (from the same age group) was led through some basic drills, and went over some basic rules – like not using your hands. Our coach’s son was playing catch.

When she did decide to run some drills, her son practiced his kicking on the cones she was setting up (when he wasn’t making a break for the parking lot). The chorus rang out: “If you can’t control your son, how will you control a team?”

When the parents asked if she wanted some help she replied, “I don’t know.” When one of the parents offered to help set up a drill, or go over some of the basics she replied, “Oh no, that’s ok. I thought the kids would just play this time. You know, get to know each other.” The chorus rang out: “Can my kid play for that other team?”

When she finally got a drill set up the kids had spent an hour playing tag. The chorus rang out: “The kids have to go home now.”

The other night we got a clandestine call from one of the parents, planning to go rouge on drills. “I figure we need to set up three drilling stations. I’ve got one parent who’s agreed to run one of them. Will you run the other? The kids should learn at least a little soccer.”

Their first game is this Saturday. It’ll be fun to see how well tag translates to soccer. It’ll be almost as fun as explaining to Adam why adults can be just as bad as the kids.

They say sports can teach you a lot about life, but I wonder if we’re headed for understatement country.


Adam bomb

Maybe it’s his small body. Maybe it’s just hardwired into a four year old boy.

Adam is showing an early flair for maneuvering, pattern recognition, and tactics. I think he’s worked out every long approach to a padded landing in the house. “Adam, no running!” comes out of my mouth on autopilot, like “God bless you” when someone sneezes. It comes out a fraction of a second before his body makes impact. Sometimes I’m the target. Sometimes it’s a piece of furniture, or an unsuspecting (large) stuffed animal. He is afraid of the dark, but he’ll run across two rooms and launch his body at full speed, head first, into a Lazy Boy – sending boy and chair sliding across the floor into the wall.

He’s still a little big for his age, my ribs can vouch for his conditioning, and he’s signed up for soccer this winter.

Fellow parents, I pray for your children.