My first season coaching one of my sons is over. Overall it was a great experience. It was wonderful seeing Graeme learn and improve as a soccer player.
The first hurdle I noticed was the “But you’re my Dad” Factor. I tried to nip that in the bud early on. For the most part he was respectful after the season got underway. We had serval talks about it to and from the field. We’ll see how long he lets me coach him.
Eight year old boys are like 3 month old puppies. Some times they listen, when they do it makes you very proud. They listen more on the field than they did when they were 5, but a lot of the time they still run around in a clump. Sometimes they chew on the Lazyboy/ Everyone takes turns kicking their ball away when you just told them to take a knew and listen. You can see hope that these pups will one day heal, or fetch on command. A few times they made through passes and crossed the ball to the open space on the other side of the field. They began to understand using space on the offense, and restricting space on defense. They also started to understand when they listened to me they had more goals than when they didn’t listen. More goals for your team, who doesn’t like that?
On defense we even started a few striking runs from the back. It started with a save by the keeper or a fullback. Because of these goals by defenders it was easy to convince the players that everyone’s on offense when we have the ball. I was really happy with this accomplishment. Sometimes we struggled to have high school players I’ve coached in the past fully grasp this concept. It just goes to show you that we don’t get to watch much soccer here in the states. All you have to do is to see a few high quality games to see that all 11 players get touches throughout the game to create on the offensive.
Now if I could get everyone to get back and help the keeper we’d be golden.
I had several players that wanted to play keeper. Those that have known me a while know this is my love and where I played for 11 years. I made sure to impart to them the basket catch, basic positioning, distribution, and communication with your team. Sounds a little advanced I know, but they were sponges. The best part was that Graeme is natural. He’d sit back and wait for just the right time to make the save or challenge the striker. He’d even call off his player to make the save. Then he’d rifle a punt off to half field. A couple times he even dove to make the save. They actually slightly resembled the technique I taught him. That of course was a joy to see. I’ll train him as long as he wants me to.
I really enjoy coaching and I think I’m going to keep my coaching shoes out of the closet for a while. I had a blast. The next few years are up in the air, but I’ll do what I can. If nothing else I’ll kick around with my sons. At the end of the day though, that’s where I want to be.