Ongoing Lesson

This is the start of week two of my new, uh, experience. 

I am the new JV girls soccer coach at my alma mater, Hale-Ray.  Two answers for your obvious questions: yes, I know very little about soccer and yes, this is my first time coaching girls of any age.

So far so good though.  I did have some concerns when I agreed to take the job.  The first being, how would I relate to teenage girls.  I had a hard enough time while I was a high schooler.  I figured as a 33-yr-old it’d be even tougher.  I can deal with boys.  They are real simple creatures.  What I found is that the two are more alike than I realized.  They both have the same love and dedication to their respective sports.  I know that may sound a bit chauvinistic.  I always knew that the girls at our HS worked hard, during games, but I never had seen them practice before.  What I’ve discovered is that they want to work just as hard.  They want challenges.  They want to be pushed.  They want to get better.  I’ve found out that, for the most part, there isn’t much difference in coaching styles.   They want to be treated as athletes.

My second question was how they would react to me.  They knew of me.  They knew I was a baseball coach and they knew I had never coached or played soccer.  The reason I was offered the job was because I am a coach.  My AD figured that what little I know about soccer I can make up for with my coaching ability.  I’ll give the girls credit.  They embraced me with no biases.  They listen to what I say and they work hard when I ask.  That’s tough to do.  I know if I was in school and a coach came in to my team with little to no experience in that sport, it would be tough for me to take them seriously.  Maybe my reputation proceeded me or maybe they are just better people than I was.  I’m leaning to the latter.

This coaching gig will be a great learning experience.  Not only will I be coaching a new sport and a new gender, maybe I’ll learn something about me.  It will help teach me patience and understanding.  I hope that this makes me a better overall coach in the long run. 

Our first game is tomorrow and this is a chance for these girls to start anew.  Last year they had no wins and only five goals.  That’s one of the reasons for the coaching overhaul.  They needed people who would be coaches.  They needed someone who could just give them confidence.  They had nothing after last year.  I’ve seen in just a week how much the girls have grown.  I already know it has the potential to be a long season.  The things that will make it all rewarding are up to the girls.  As long as they work hard, have fun and trust what we are telling them, success will come.  Hell, four or five wins would be enormous.  The nice thing is these girls are hungry.  They want to win in the worst way.  They want to look back on this season with good memories.

To be honest with you so do I and I am so happy I took this job.  Plus it’s a bit foreshadowing of my life in 13-14 years.  🙂

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