Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Soccer Championship

This past weekend, my daughter's U8 soccer team that I coached participated in the end of season World Cup tournament.  This team, composed of 6, 7, and 8 year old kids played hard all season long.  It was an absolute joy coaching them this year and watching their soccer skills improve in just a few short weeks.  They all came to each game and practice ready to listen and learn.  The best part is the smiles on their faces when playing soccer.  Each game/practice they'd run on to the field and ask how I was doing or share a story of something they did since the last time we met.

The end of season tournament consisted of 2 games Saturday and another guaranteed game on Sunday.  The top two teams out of twelve would compete in a second, championship game on Sunday.  This team played their hearts out in the first three games, winning all three and making it to the championship game.  Admittedly they breezed through the first three games, but the championship game was a different story.  This game consisted of two very strong teams competing against each other, just as you'd want in a championship game.  Despite their fourth game in two days and relatively warm weather, they continued to hustle throughout the game, running up and down the field to try to score and prevent the other team from scoring.  In the end, they won 5-2.  I was so happy for them and so proud of how hard they played.  

I've coached for 4 years now.  Each year is different as it's a different group of kids each year.  Thus each year is special in its own way.  My 6 year old wants to try new things so it doesn't look like she'll play soccer this fall.  She may play again in the future, but the plan is to try something different this fall.  Thus I don't see myself coaching in the fall, but that doesn't mean I won't coach again in the future.  We shall see.  Let me end by encouraging all parents out there to volunteer as a coach for your kid's team.  It is such an amazing experience and sports leagues at the recreational level are often in dire need of parent volunteers to coach.  Don't worry about lack of coaching experience.  I had ZERO experience coaching when I first started and ZERO experience playing soccer.  I learned on the job and volunteering to coach ranks right up there as one of the best decisions in my life.  It has been such an amazing experience!

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