How to end up a coach soccer …when you know nothing about soccer

A few weeks ago, I received an email from the New Berlin Athletic Association soccer director. He informed me, along with all of the other parents for the team, that our team did not have a coach. And until a parent volunteered to coach, our kids wouldn’t start practicing. He said he’d starting calling parents the following week if no one stepped forward.

Can you guess what happened? No one volunteered. I got a voicemail the following week, and I immediately started to feel guilty. I helped out with baseball, so I planned to help with soccer too, but I didn’t want to be the head coach. Mainly because I don’t know anything about soccer! And because my patience with kids isn’t always the greatest.

I reached out to Christopher’s baseball coach since his son was on the team too. I said I’d help if he’d coach, but unfortunately, his son is on a second team, so he couldn’t commit to all of the practices and games for this league.

I tried appealing to the rest of the parents. I emailed everyone saying I’d do it, if other parents would agree to help. No response. I started getting nervous that they’d cancel our team.

So I volunteered.

(Sidenote: Once I sent out the an email to parents about practices, I did have two moms offer to help me out. Yay! I will definitely need their help because I’ll be out of town for a couple of games.)

I went to the coaches meeting, learned the rules, and got my team roster, uniforms, and equipment. Then, thankfully, I went to a coaches clinic. I learned how to kick a soccer ball for shooting and dribbling. I learned a little more about the rules of soccer and how to run a practice and a game. There was even this super cool white board with magnets for players and the ball.

I took a lot of notes! 4 pages. Haha.

Then last night we had our first practice. A few hours before hand I was Googling “how to kick a soccer ball”. I learn better by reading, so I read a few articles and felt somewhat prepared for the practice.

Luckily, there are only 6 kids on the team, and I already knew Christopher (of course) and three other kids. So only two players were unknowns. 4 boys. 2 girls. 6 kids. It worked perfectly for breaking up for drills.

We practiced kicking, dribbling, and passing. We played “kick the coach” which they loved. It involves the kids dribbling around a designated area and trying to hit me with their soccer balls. They all did really well and improved noticeably even after only 50 minutes.

We took a lot of water breaks. And there were some tears: Christopher. He was frustrated because he couldn’t do something as well as everyone else. Oh, my little perfectionist.

It was fun. And I got about 6,000 steps in!

I am a little nervous about next week. We’ll have to repeat a lot of the drills, which could be boring. I have some new stuff to teach them too, so hopefully I can keep their interest.

Do you get involved in your kids’ activities? Do you know anything about soccer? I appreciate any and all tips on being a little league coach.

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