This is Anna. She is a player on my U16 Girls team. She is usually the first to arrive at practice and the last to leave. She helps carry the soccer equipment, and is oftentimes the one who picks-up the most pinnies, cones, and balls after practices and games end. Unfortunately, she doesn’t always get the praise she deserves… because she is the coach’s daughter.
She has scored 5 goals in 6 games this spring, with 6 assists. She loves playing right midfield. Her next game—the Tournament Championship match—is also her last youth soccer game. After 15 seasons playing, she’s decided that she wants to focus her junior and senior years on academics and Varsity Show Choir.
On the pitch, she decided to call me “Coach”—never “Daddy”. I was determined to approach Anna’s teams with life-long love of soccer in mind. I’ve taken coaching very seriously. Practices had a plan and a teaching purpose. I wanted to offer the players the freedom to have fun, build confidence, be creative, and make mistakes. I tried to encourage them to strive for a higher standard of play, and (hopefully) grow into well-rounded, intelligent soccer players. Sportsmanship and team culture were paramount.
To me, there aren’t many things in this world better than sitting quietly on the bench watching (and hearing) your team take ownership of the game, and play beautiful, entertaining soccer.
Well, except for seeing your daughter play the beautiful game, play it well with her teammates, and play it with love and joy.
Next game, I’ll be the teary-eyed old coach on Field 4B.