Soccer. My husband loves the game. My son loves the game, or rather the vuvuzela. My oldest daughter helped out for years on her high school soccer team and now her little sister has played for three full years now.
I found my husbands letter jacket today while cleaning…size skinny…and thought of how he must have been different back then. You see he coaches now. Oh yes. Better yet, he coaches his youngest daughter’s team. Tykes was the first year, when they were five and it was still boys and girls playing together. Next was Novice Girls Division and then this past Fall, Junior Girls U8.
I’ve seen those high school photos. He was all smiles and cute and looked like a innocent Teddy bear. Not now during soccer season. He is a bear alright! He is convinced that his girls need to practice six weeks before the season starts. Nobody does that. He thinks all the girls need to be paying strict attention to him and his Assistant Coach at all times. Nobody expects a seven year old to do that. He wants everyone to arrive thirty minutes before the beginning of every game to get in some last minute drills. Nobody ever comes early do they?
Well, I don’t go to every game. I do piano and tennis and this sport is dads gig. Probably a good thing too. When I go, I’m usually telling him to watch himself and saying, “Its just a game”. It bugs him to death when the girls do cartwheels or play on the sidelines when they aren’t in the game. None of us parents look forward to the infamous “Silent Soccer” day. Nobody, including the coaches are allowed to talk during the game. It is to encourage the teammates to work together and communicate. The soccer association hands out lollypops to everyone and we usually have to give Jarrod four.
Don’t even get him started about having to make his players stop scoring if they are winning by five goals. He will go on for hours. I think I am married to him to keep him in line and to help him remember that girls do brings barbies to soccer and twirl their hair at midfield and occassionly have to pee at precisely the moment their parents have left from dropping them off at practice.
For ten weeks, not including the weeks before the actual games start, Jarrod becomes a soccer nut. I’m sure there are still soccer plays on his desk somewhere and I know he dreams of winning the division. Nobody does that. Well, except Jarrod. Now they don’t officially keep score in Tykes, so he has no proof that his team was the best, but of course they were. The Novice Girls? They won their division. This past Fall? His Junior U8 Girls won their division and were undefeated.
He loves the game, his girls that play for him and everything about winning. I know this because I always ask how they did and he first tells me how they need to work on this or that……and after I listen to his whole dissemination of the game, he would tell me they won.
Want to know one more thing that is cool? Neither Jarrod or John ever raise their voice to their team. Not once. These two coaches are a well oiled machine of skill, patience, love for the sport and teachers that know how to teach. Oh and something else. The girls they teach, absolutely love them and have learned to love the game.
I thought it might be a good time to tell you too that this isn’t the same team, year after year. Coach Jarrod and John receive new and different players each and every year. The only two that are always there, are their two daughters. The task of creating a winning team so many years in a row, with new teammates each year, really does take talent and a certain drive.
Can I be a kid again? I suddenly want to play soccer. A little bird told me that these two coaches are on the list to be “taken down” next season. I’m not sure, but I think Jarrod is already working on kicking some more grass.