Your child's coach: Shocked!
Okay, so the truth is that I wasn't supposed to take a soccer team this season, too hard to juggle coaching with my new work schedule. But the league was desperate, so I took a team just long enough to find a parent to replace me. Within days a woman stepped up who solved my weeknight practice problem. She lives at the field and she's great with the kids.
In the meantime, we struggled all week with the rain. You know how it goes if you're a coach. The clouds appear at 3 p.m. and parents start calling you. "Will it rain tonight?" I sometimes want to answer, "Am I God?" It's always been my policy to wait until about an hour before practice time before deciding. It still could clear up, in which case you feel like a dope. But people have to get dressed and drive, and so forth.
Anyhow, the woman who coaches the weeknight practice is more adventurous than I am, and she tracks storms on Weather Underground. So we cut it a little close this past week. By the time I called all the parents on the second rainy night, it was 15 minutes past practice time. It was POURING and, worse, a fierce thunderstorm had developed. I mean, the lightning was right on top of us.
And wouldn't you know that when I called one of the dads -- who also coaches some -- he said, "we're at the field!"
I told the practice coach, and I will tell any coach who reads this, you absolutely cannot have sports practice in a thunderstorm. Rain is one thing -- and for little kids, I let parents use their judgment. If you have a kid who gets sick with the first rain drop, stay home. Then again, this if Florida and as long as it is not cold AND rainy, you can let your child play if he's tough enough to handle it.
But electrical storms are an absolute no-no. Coaches, don't risk it. And parents, just turn that car around and take the kids home.
-- Marlene Sokol, Times Coach