By Stephen Cochran
USSF “A” Licensed Coach
This last couple of weeks has really made me look at myself in a mirror. I realized that i am there to teach the kids and I am appreciated. During one of the games, I started getting stressed that the kids weren’t doing the items that I had been teaching. Oh wow, did I need a sub (for myself!!!) I turned around and one of the parents came up to me and said, “we love what you’re doing with the kids. They are learning so much.” This is when we were down 12-0. The end of the soccer game comes and my youth soccer team comes of the field and is jumping with joy. I said, “What’s up guys?” They replied, “Did you see the big guy fall down during the game? That was so funny.” Here we lost and didn’t do the items we were supposed to do and the kids were having a good time. They found the positives. Can we learn from them?
Had a great time this week at practice. We have started using Figure 8 warm ups at every practice and the games, so when the kids arrive they always grab two cones and tell each other, “come on, we’re playing Los Altos!” We use the code words Los Altos to make the 8 and the code word Go to pick up the cones. The kids love it. So today, I didn’t bring any cones to practice. One of the kids asked where the cones were. I told him that they were at my home. he said, “Oh, then I guess we just play Go. We can’t do the Los Altos.” I couldn’t hold back my laughter as he was totally serious and I thought it was the funniest statement.
We worked on receiving the ball with the foot in the air (slightly) and one player was hopping around, refusing to put his foot down as he needed to keep it up to receive the ball. Today, I did an experiment, could the players do the serve without the cones? Answer – YES! It worked. Then I ended practice after 45 minutes and the kids asked if they could keep playing. An hour later, their parents finally asked them to stop.
This was fun. No coach, just kids playing and arguing as to if it was a foul, is it a corner kick, if it hit the post, would it have gone in or gone wide. It was great. It is a shame that we lose almost all of our games. We did win one the other day and the players were just beaming. I was so happy for them.