That's Soccer Mom with a capitol "S". Somehow, last Spring, when I signed Thomas and Gordon up for Fall soccer, I managed to check the wrong box in the "are you willing to be the coach?" section. Actually, I don't think I checked the wrong box at all-- I think no one else volunteered either, so they just picked the first person to respond to their e-mail! Whatever happened, I'm coaching a U6 team, the "Rockets", and I *mostly* enjoy it. I'm pretty sure I would enjoy it even more if Gord could have played more than 1/4 of the very short season!
Since I have never played soccer, and don't know much beyond the rule that you can't use your hands, this has been a real learning experience for me. Here are a few tips I've learned for the soccer mom/coach:
1. Offense, Defense... whatever. In U6, as long as your kids are all kicking the ball in the same direction, you have a good thing going. You'll notice in the picture above that this isn't happening at this point in the game! I've yelled, "The other way! The other way!" at pretty much every game. Ha!
2. Don't EVER forget the water. Despite their seemingly endless amounts of energy, five-year-olds will actually drop like flies if they aren't properly hydrated. They will also whine the entire time.
3. Even though you have a bag with enough balls for everyone, after a couple of practices each player will have picked "their" ball. Trying to give the wrong ball to the wrong person is not a good idea.
4. Coaching your own kid is both really fun and kind of tricky. You can't play favorites, and you also can't be harder on your child than anyone else. The good news is that you can take your own kids out for ice cream after the game, and that pretty much ensures that you'll be their favorite coach ever.
5. Two-year-olds are especially cute cheering on the sidelines. This one loves to say, "GOOOOO!"
6. No matter how hot, tired and thirsty they are after a grueling 32 minutes, a cheer for the other team, high fives and "good game", and, most importantly, treats from one of the parents will restore all of their energy and team spirit in no time!
One more game this Saturday-- and I'm going to try to get more action shots of my cute Gordon.