Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Raise That Bar

Before the start of my soon to be legendary girls soccer coaching career, the league made all the coaches take a class on coaching soccer to eight year olds.

The instructor was some guy from England who took his soccer very serious. He was about my age but in much better shape. It looked like he still played.

He shared with us about how he has been to
Wembley Stadium to see many great football matches. The San Diego Chargers and the New Orleans Saints will be playing a “real” football game there on the 26th.

I thought he did a great job. I took a lot away from his class.

One thing bothered me though, his expectations for this age group. I thought they were very low. He didn’t think kids this age should bother with the goalkeeper and that if the kids could just dribble the ball and change direction every once in a while the season was a success.

This year the kids are using a goalie. The field they use is much bigger and most penalties will be called except for offsides. They are playing a game with a referee, but nobody is supposed to keep score. Yeah right! Those girls know exactly what the score is.

Last year Alissa played flag football with the boys. I just realized that I never posted anything about that, what a lousy daddy/evil mutant blogger I am. Her coach (coach Weed, that cracks me up) had high expectations for his team. Coach Weed had "high" expectations, I'm killin myself here. He had a playbook that he expected the kids to know, by the end of the season, they did. He didn’t coddle the kids either, he wasn’t psycho football coach, but he was firm and the kids listened when he spoke. And they were a year younger than my Pink Puppies.

So I have taken that into my first season of coaching these little girls too.

I think the Pups are the best-prepared team out there. They know what to do when it is a goal kick, corner kick, or throw in. Our goalkeepers are aggressive and do a good job kicking or throwing the ball back down the field.

Their skills are improving too. They can already dribble and change direction. I’m working on getting them to pass the ball and use their left foot.

The main thing is that the girls have fun, and I think part of having fun is being successful. The Pink Puppies are having fun, and so am I.


Guinevere said...

Good for you for challenging them to actually learn something. Kids know when you're there to teach them something or just "babysitting". :o)

Oh, and YES, I remember 'Fridays'! lol

Steph said...

Ok, waaaaaay cute. Would it be too much to gauge where the kiddos are and then challenge them based on that? I suppose I'm thinking of my own eight year old who is probably the least coordinated and clumsiest kid on the block and my seven year old nephew who, but for his lack of size, could already be playing football for the niners.

Was your instructor high? (sorry, couldn't resist!)

Dave said...

You see when I read ‘Coach Weed’, I thought he must have had an overfull bladder. It wasn’t until you mentioned ‘high’ that I got your drift. Either way it was well worth a chuckle.

Goalie. Very important role. After the captain the goalie should have the next loudest voice.

Great stuff on the artwork!! :)

White Hot Magik said...

I hate how we have such low expectations sometimes. The kids can get it, like you said without being mean but consistent and firm. Got a good story you will be able to make lots of smart alec replies too coming tomorrow it will take a while to type.

VENTL8R said...

LOVE the poster!!! I would also LOVE to see you wearing that emblazened on your chest someplace other than a soccer game. Like Lowes or Home Depot.

Malathionman said...

G- "Fridays" had some pretty funny stuff. It was the one of the few things I saw Micheal Richards in before Seinfeld.

Steph- Your 8 year old sounds like my 12 year old. He is strong as an ox and as graceful as one too.

Dave- Goalie is cool but the only reason the girls want to play there is because they want to wear the gloves I bought.

Nora- "you will be able to make lots of smart alec replies" I'm sure what you mean by that.

Kristi- That is our team banner. It is up at all the games. The team mom wants me to wear pink at the games. I tell her nobody sees me in my underwear except my wife!

Dave said...

I often ended up as the goalie by default.... being one of the least talented outfield players. No gloves in my day though. Humph!