Coach, keep your day job
Here are "my babies," Andrew and Liani. They're wearing hats because we are "The Cowboys." The hats were props in some of our early practices; I wish I had done more with the theme. Oh, the plans I had! But my day job got in the way of coaching. That happens sometimes. As a league director, I take complaints from parents who say the coach wasn't there for the kids, etc. And what can you say? The coach might have had a family emergency, the coach might have lost his job. In the best situation, the coach calls on other parents to back him up and pick up the ball, so to speak. Most of us are volunteers and all we can do is our very best for these kids. But after those three whistles, we still have to go back to our lives. I was lecturing a team mom on the importance of selling buttons for our league fundraiser, as more kids than ever will need scholarships at our next registration in January. She said, "I know, I lost my job this year." Keep selling, I said. They're 2 for $5.
As for Andrew and Liani: Look at Andrew going for the ball in our final regular-season game. This is progress. Andrew's parents coached in last Sunday's four-on-four tournament, even though Mom was recovering from surgery and has a toddler to chase after too. Their dedication paid off; Andrew scored a goal and now has a lot more confidence. Liani gets a lot of practice at home and she's a dynamo in our team practices. She'll warm up to competition, I know. These children lucky to have such positive parents.
Going up against an undefeated team, we didn't stand much of a chance Saturday, even with Dillon giving his best and Lexis (#8) rallying after a bad cold and a morning at cheer competition. I sound like the losingest coach in all of Tampa, but it's important to look on the bright side. I've seen otherwise great coaches burn out and quit after one season and blame the refs and look for conspiracies and so forth when, quite honestly, at this age, it's all about learning and having fun.
-- Marlene Sokol, Times Coach