September 05, 2010

The Return of Soccer Dad

August marked the return of soccer dad. No, I am not talking about Soccer Dad the blogger, but myself. Yes, the mighty Jack B., the one time soccer coach and oft time soccer dad. Frankly I didn't want to coach this year. Got a lot going on and was concerned that I wouldn't have enough time to properly devote to the team.

The last thing I wanted to do was make a commitment that I couldn't uphold so I made a point not to volunteer to be a head or assistant coach. No, this year I was going to be the dad who showed up to all the games and as many practices as possible but not the coach.

The kids weren't real happy about it and asked me to change my mind. I told them why I had chosen to decline to do it and explained how it is important to follow through on commitments. Fortunately they both told me that they understood and that was the end of it- or so I thought it would be.

What I didn't know was that I would receive a telephone call explaining that they didn't have enough coaches to handle the girls division that my daughter was supposed to play in. They told me that if it didn't change the would have an uneven number of teams which would result in having to kill a team. That would mean that a bunch of girls would end up on the wait list.

I was more than a little irritated to hear this because the unspoken threat was that my daughter might be among those who were wait listed.  And that my friends was a serious problem. The dark haired beauty has spoken for months about this season and how excited she was to play. So I was left with a dilemma, offer my services and guarantee that my daughter could play or roll the dice that she wouldn't be wait listed.

It was a bad position to be placed in. We made a point of registering her early enough that she shouldn't have been at risk, but I decided that I didn't want to take a chance. And so it was that I decided to return to coaching.

Now mind you that coaching a group of six year-olds is a bit like herding cats. It is an experience but then again it is one hell of a lot of fun. Besides, the beauty of this age is that it is not about winning or learning plays. This is about having a good time, getting out from under the Wii and learning how to be part of a team.

So for the next 12 weeks or so I'll spend part of my week and weekend playing shepherd. Should be interesting.

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