Our youngest son plays on a soccer team that is blessed with two AMAZING coaches. These two dads give it their all, teaching skills and sportsmanship — I wouldn’t say they are easy on the kids, but they coach in a way that really brings out the best in every member of the team. They encourage teamwork above everything else — once, they even played a game where the coaches told the boys they didn’t want anyone trying for a goal in the entire first half, instead having them to work on their dribbling and passing skills. This took the emphasis off winning altogether, and the boys thrived as a result.
The team has 11 boys, and there have been only a few times where all 11 players didn’t show up for a game. The boys, and us parents, realize that they are part of something great, and they don’t want to miss out on the fun or let their fellow teammates down.
Last Saturday, it was a dreary drizzly day, and I didn’t look forward to getting out of my nice, warm bed, driving all the way out to the distant soccer fields, and sitting in a wet camp chair on the sidelines, but our son was up and excited to go. Our entire team of 11 boys showed up, but only four boys arrived for the opposing team. Rather than taking the easy win, and claiming a forfeit, our coaches offered up four of our players to the other team. The other team’s coach agreed, and so our coaches asked for volunteers. Every one of our players raised his hand, and the coach picked four — our best four players!
The game went on as scheduled and it was one of the most intense matchup I have seen our team play. The best part was seeing the kids on the other team, and how their gameplay rose with the addition of these skilled players. I know that this team had not won a game this season, which is probably why their attendance was so low, but man, did they play!
Our team lost that day. But they won in my book.