Ever since I began coaching my son’s elementary soccer team my daughter wanted me to coach hers. Bad. Really, really bad. The problem was I had committed to coaching my son’s team from third grade through his sixth grade year and my daughter’s team had their season at the same time.
What’s a daddy coach to do? I explained the situation to her each year and told her to be patient, that I would be able to coach her team once her brother moved on to middle school. Finally, last school year, my daughter got her wish. My son moved on to middle school and, as it turned out, has found interests aside from soccer. This completely freed me up to coach her team. She was in the fourth grade
I realized right away that girls are different than boys – how they play, how they interact, their level of focus and determination. Overall, the girls I worked with were far more willing and ready each day to give their all. Even though this was for an elementary school rec league, they wanted to be able to play hard and win while still having fun. As a coach, I did my best to strike a balance between fun activities and serious practice to develop the team.
My daughter relished in the fact that I was coaching (as it turned out, I was one of three coaches the team had, which was fine). She was held in high regard by her teammates and they even chose her to be the team captain for the season. Working with my daughter and the rest of the team was incredibly rewarding. Who doesn't enjoy spending time with their child? I was thrilled to share my love of the game with her. We worked together twice a week with the team and occasionally on our own as well.
The efforts paid off. The team took second in the league last year. We only suffered one loss during the season, but it was enough to bump us to second place. I couldn't have been more satisfied, though. The girls all had a lot of fun throughout the entire season. And my daughter ended the season hoping I could coach again next year.
I’ve already worked out getting the time off from work to be able to coach again. I wouldn’t give that up for anything if I can possibly help it. She recently joined a select team to fill the months in-between her school rec seasons. She has been doing extremely well with that team and has loved her experience. As it turns out that team may need a coach for next year, and they have approached me to see if I would be interested.
What’s a daddy coach to do? Well how can I not? When my daughter looks up at me with a smile and anticipation in her eyes, that’s hard for any daddy to say “no” to.
~ E.S.Brown is an aspiring author whose debut novel is due in 2014. He divides his time between his day job, his family, his writing, and being a soccer parent.