Well, we’re close to the end now. We had our second to the last game against the 2nd place team, and it was a slugfest. My “problematic” forward missed a penalty shot, as well as 4-5 more good opportunities, and the other guys missed a number of other easy shots, so we lost 2-0. Still, the guys played hard and tough. I was very proud of them indeed.
I must say the most frustrating part of the last 3 weeks has been that my “problematic” forward and his brother (another outstanding player) have missed the last 3 weeks of practice. Their parents are Islamic, and this has been the month of Ramadan. Even the kids have been observing the fast, so they don’t practice and don’t have much energy during the game. We were making good progress with both of them on peeking and placing, but without practice they’ve reverted to earlier habits.
Coaching is such a tough job! It’s such a passive thing that I couldn’t do it for a living. You can teach the kids the best you can, but if they can’t practice, or if they have bad games because of a late night birthday party the night before, there is nothing you can do about it. At least at work, I can hand pick the guys I want for the job, or hire guys if I have to, or can do the work myself if need be to make sure if gets done right. As a coach, all you can do is passively watch.
Despite all of this, I must say that your FUNdamental Soccer methods work wonderfully. You’ve taught me a lot, and I can now watch other teams and see that our team is coached better than most of the teams. 3 years ago, I had never coached and never played the game, and now I can honestly say you’ve helped me become a pretty darn good coach. When I see my guys peeking and placing, dribbling with both feet, shooting with the instep, taking a defensive stance, while most other teams don’t, I KNOW your methods are working. If your goal is to teach novice coaches how to get better, I think in my case you’ve succeeded. Unfortunately, I’ve also learned that I have a heck of a lot more to learn!