It’s a new school year, which means a new soccer season, team and coach for our son. Excited for the new season, I eagerly signed up for the role of Team Mom once again. All of my excitement came to a screeching halt when my husband and I discovered a parent from our team last year was our son’s new coach. In my mind, being assigned to this coach was a serious detriment to my son’s continued success in this sport. Concerned that a bad-coaching experience could harm my son’s skills development and possibly suppress his love for the game, my first reaction to the new coach was anything but supportive. I found myself complaining to my husband, my father and my friends in the soccer world. It was a foregone conclusion in my mind that this was going to be a horrible season. After the first troubling practice and meeting with some of the other team parents, I decided to do anything I could to assist our team and coach for the sake of our players. I stopped complaining and set out to find other parents on our team who would strengthen the team as assistant coaches. Two dads stepped up to help with practice and a mom volunteered to become the assistant coach. It has now been a few weeks since that difficult first practice and things have turned out better than I thought possible 3 weeks ago. Our assistant coaches have been extremely supportive, helping our coach organize and run practices with precision. The soccer league sent our coach to a training session, which appeared to give him the confidence he needs to be an effective trainer. Our boys had their first game of the season last Saturday and were awesome! Not only did they outscore the other team, they played great soccer and had a good time. It was evident from the game they had learned quite a bit in only 6 practices. As parents, we want our children to love their sport and to excel at what they love. I am embarrassed now to look back at my overreaction to our team assignment. Our coach is simply a dad who loves his son, loves soccer and volunteered to give of his time and talent to coach our sons. He deserves all the patience, support and compassion I and all the other team parents can give him.
Copyright 2010 Lisa Jones