Monday, September 08, 2008

raving lunatic

[First arrivals at Thursday's rainy practice.]


What kind of soccer coach makes the 8 and 9 year-old kids practice in the pouring rain?! Um, that would be ME. Last Thursday, I sent an email to all the parents confirming our policy that says that the only thing that I'll cancel practice for is thunder and lightning. I fully realize that some parents want to coddle their children and shield them from the horrid danger of getting their clothes wet and possibly even muddy. Listen, playing in the rain is loads of fun! These kids (and their coaches) were entirely drenched within minutes, but we had a fantastic time running, kicking and splashing. All of my paperwork got drenched too, but I'd do it again in a heartbeat!


We led Saturday's game 4-0. In soccer talk, that's a very lopsided match, so I called my son to me. He gave me this look of incredulity, because it was right in the middle of the third quarter.

Tie your shoes, Son.


Untie your shoes and re-tie them

Wh--I don't understand...

Listen, we're winning big, and I don't want this other team to go home demoralized, so I need to take somebody off the field for a little bit and give them a chance to score against us. Now pretend you're fixing your shoes.

Done! Can I pleeeeeease get back in there now?

Yeah, go ahead... Billy!(name changed for blog) Come here, Buddy!...


I repeated this procedure several times in the fourth quarter.


So maybe some of the moms, thought I was crazy on Thursday, and a few of my players thought I was crazy at Saturday's game, but it's more than okay... we won AND we learned a couple of life-lessons along the way. They all went home with big smiles on their faces.


Llama Momma said...

I'm sure you're a great coach and all, but man, I'm glad we're not on your team!

(And not because I want to coddle my boys...but it's a HUGE mess, playing in the rain. And for me and the toddler on the sidelines? Um. yeah. Miserable.)

Craver Vii said...

Sidelines?? You think you could keep your littlest one on the sidelines when he could see the rest of us playing in the rain? Mwaaa-ha-haaaa...

Louise said...

My kids BEG to play in the rain, but we don't do soccer. If we did, and it was raining, I'd wait in the car while they played. I'd be too cold outside. (Just the way I am.) BUT, if it rained here, they would cancel it for days because it never rains!

dot said...

I'm glad your team won and I hope all the mother's had a box of Tide to get the mud and dirt out.

mommanator said...

good for you
They cancelled #1 grandson game but grandson #2 played_you figure it out. the youngest one played???
I should send pics- those boys love the rain they are like grany!

Ted M. Gossard said...

Amen, Craver! You're a truly good coach.

And I would think the kids would enjoy playing in the rain and mud. Good for them to practice in such, since surely games are postponed only due to thunder and lightening, I would guess.

lime said...

my husband coaches soccer too and i know sometimes when his team has been the stronger in a lopsided match he has told his players they have to play with their nondominant foot as a way to give the other team a chance and also a way to give his kids more experience in coping with their weakness.

i like that you're not a "win at the cost of demoralizing the opponent" type. kudos for that.

Anonymous said...

i like this, very much.

Craver Vii said...

As a parent, I wouldn't send my kids out to play every time it rains. Even wild animals have the good sense to seek shelter when it pours. But I hope they learn something from practicing during inclement weather. I want them to be aware of their whole team, and learn to sacrifice a little comfort for others' needs. I want them to know that just because it's wet outside, doesn't mean that they can't find something enjoyable in it. I want them to see my example that I appreciate our time together, and I hope my smile is contageous.

Anothr part of the attitude I wish to instill is good sportsmanship. Not like the baseball player who was in the news last night for shoving the catcher... not so angelic of him. Instead, our teams must learn not to demonize their opponents, and play so that everyone has fun out there.

Shammickite said...

I agree absolutely! Play in the rain, have fun, let the other team have a chance at scoring so everyone goes home a winner.
When OlderSon was 9 or 10, he was chosen to play soccer on a rep team. But when we got to the games, the coach would not play him cos he wasn't the strongest player out there. So he spent a lot of the time on the sidelines, and often going home in tears. A word with the coach... who said "But we want to win! We have to play our best players."
Well, that was it... he quit the rep team and rejoined the house league and had marvellous fun for the rest of the soccer season.

Carletta said...

One question? If it were game time and it was raining with no thunder and lightning would the game go on?
Yes you say, well then, what better way to practice than in the rain just in case!
No you say, well then, what's a little muddy fun!!

I bet you're a great coach! If I had little ones on your team I'd be a team Mom and bring hot chocolate to drink at the end of he rainy play. :)