Summer Musings

By Alan Maher
By the way, This is the only country that has paid coaches, paid by parents, in the world. We have three levels. First we have the team coach, then the personal trainer and finally the special trainer. The special trainer does the hop, skip and jump stuff, or the dragging of players. Some give out special mini parachutes. Remember that the coach is paid. (I trained kids for nothing. Stupid me.)
August is a month when I can ride my bike in the park and watch the folly of what is called pre-season training. My wife walks in the same park and has joined me in observing the foolishness displayed by soccer coaches. I must add that the coaches are all paid by the parents, so the whole team does not participate in the nonsense.
My wife found high school girls one morning where half had harnesses dripping with ropes. The rest got behind each girl and held the ropes. Then the girl with the harness dragged the other girl across the field.
My wife asked, “Why?” I fell over laughing.
Next we both saw a group of girls trained in the famous hopping, skipping routine. My wife noticed that they had no soccer balls “Are they really soccer players?” she asked. And the coach is paid to do this. By the parents. Not the club or high school. By the parents.
By the way, This is the only country that has paid coaches, paid by parents, in the world. We have three levels. First we have the team coach, then the personal trainer and finally the special trainer. The special trainer does the hop, skip and jump stuff, or the dragging of players. Some give out special mini parachutes.
One trainer, today, had the players drive the ball for fifty yards, pass it off, and the next player drove in the opposite direction. Just whack the ball, run like mad to catch up and whack it again, for fifty yards. Remember that the coach is paid. (I trained kids for nothing. Stupid me.)
There seems to be a mantra in this country. If you leave the field with sore muscles, a film of sweat and some dirt or dust, the practice has been good. I never hear mention of what has been learned or what the coach said. Just beat them into the ground and cover them with dirt. A good practice.
 Years ago I watched keeper practice in Alkmaar Holland and watched a German coach train two Dutch keepers. Well, he supervised and three assistants did the actual training. At the end of practice, the German stood tall in his clean warm-up and the two keepers left the field, dirty and bleeding. They were also angry for being so abused. You could see it in their eyes. The people around me all nodded in approval. A good practice.
I found out later that the first string keeper missed two games because of his abusive training.
Yeah, give me blood, sweat and dirt. It builds character.
Or maybe causes our high drop-out rate.
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