The JOY of Coaching! The JOY of Soccer

It’s been 25 years since I’ve played organized sports. Which makes me sort of an old-fart and sort of a relic. But it also makes me very, very wise and very, very patient and, ahem, very, very brave….  wink!

A friend of mine and I have joined together to enjoy the privilege of coaching 2nd grade girls’ soccer this year. She and I used to play against each other in rival schools in high school – back in the “glory days” of our athletic youth – and now we want to bestow upon our little chitlins the charm, cheer, comfort and rigors of playing a team sport.

The season has just started, and I already am beginning to feel the liveliness that wakes up the cells in my body as I race around the field after the girls, shouting encouragement, teaching technique, laughing with my fearless head-coach (I am her assistant) as we wrangle and move and sort and select and coddle and re-tie shoelace after shoelace of each little cleat.

The girls’ pink cheeks and excited, thrashing moves that will become more fluid as the season progresses remind me of that joy of movement, of flying down the field with friends flanking your sides as you make an offensive move towards the goal, of high-fives, and of hugs of support after a crushing defeat.

This is why I coach.

I am a nerd of the game. A lover of the rules and regs and what team sports model for the kids. Of breaking out of the pack at times to make a move, but then working with the pack the other times to complete the ultimate goal.

My best friends in life come from playing sports together. It is a bond like few others I’ve had and I can’t wait to share all of that and so much more with all these little gals on our team this season.

It is an absolute joy to get out there again.

Namaste & Three Corner Kicks to the Center! -a

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