The kids’ soccer season has been a little bizarre this year. Where Kyle (being in U7) only plays once a week, Charlize (in U5) plays twice a week. Actually, now that I write it out like this, I realize that it’s almost the same but that Charlize has more practice time. See, Kyle’s games are 1 hour long and we usually meet 30 minutes prior to get some warm-up and training done. Charlize usually has about 45 minutes of training and a 15 minute game Mondays and Wednesday. Considering the age groups, this makes sense. Teach the younger ones the basics and throw in some game play. Expand the older ones’ knowledge and give them game time.
Anyhow, that’s not where I was going with this entry What I was trying to get at was that Kyle’s first 4 games were all held on Saturdays at 7am. The reason for this was that school was still in session so this was how it was planned out. During those 4 games, Chantale and I watched the games by the sidelines, a little… perturbed at some of the things being taught and confused as to how the goalie was always completely ignored. After 2 games, we moved forward to offer help and coaching (considering how much time Chantale played in days gone by). This offer was quickly accepted and Chantale was happy to be able to train and guide the kids while the other guy managed them.
But then, school ended and the games started falling on Mondays. The coach could no longer make it and we slowly ended up taking on more of the coaching/ managing of the team. Actually, Chantale took over and I became more an ‘assistant’ who warmed up the team and coached the goalies. The problem with all this was that all WE had was the duffle bag with the spare balls! We had no coaching tools like the game sheets, or the practice cones, or the goalie gloves or the goalie shirt! Heck, apparently there was a huge rule book in there as well that was not passed along!
This went on for quite a number of games and then yesterday, when Chantale could not make the 6pm practice, I went there and started warming them up and she showed up before the match started. Of course, this time the Ref wanted all the things no other Ref asked for before! The Game Sheet, the Goalie wearing a different shirt, etc. We explained our situation and we managed to get another coach to loan us the sheets and, luckily, the commission office was close by so we got in touch with them.
During the game, the commissioners came out and told us that the game rules had changed and we could not play with 7 players on the field but 5 (this was also told to the other 2 games going on so it seemed like news to everyone – although why these kind of rule changes came in mid-season is beyond me). But the best part of it was that they heard our dilemma and got us set up with all the stuff we needed (except for the rule book). At least we felt better as a team! And we felt better as coaches, too, as a number of players’ parents have been telling us how much their kids enjoy playing now. Heck, I love that there is so much participation in that our team always had at least 3 players in reserve for every game, and this during the games we played 7-on with!
With less than a month worth of games left, it’ll be a good, fun, ride to the end of the season now As for next season… well, who knows. But, I wouldn’t be surprised if we find ourselves doing the same thing again, but this time doing it right from the get-go. Time will tell for sure.
But considering how I’ve even started getting involved in Charlize’s games in order to keep the girls there more focused (the coach is busy on the field so he has no time for the bench or the goalie), I see continued participation in our futures…