Thursday, July 28, 2011

Coach Nuclear Mom?

I am always pushing my poor husband to coach sports teams. He actually does pretty well at it and despite his complaining I am SURE that he enjoys it.

Now that we have two children that are team sports ages it is hard to balance the obligations that team sports bring. It is easier when only one child wants to play a sport, but when they both want to... just scary.

With the YMCA sports, I like that the practices and games during the summer are actually during the week leaving weekends open. However, there is a huge demand for teams and always wait lists for the sports. You often end up taking what you can get as a parent. Two kids and you are potentially looking at 4 nights of sports a week!

Now if you are a volunteer coach... things loosen up substantially!

This was my thought. AB coaches Leif's soccer team, I coach Skadi's and between us we coordinate the practices and games. This has actually worked out quite successfully and we ended up with a number of other siblings on our teams as well as parents who have suddenly clung to us with frequent statements and e-mails of "let's do this again, let us know when you are coaching other teams!"

But can I just say that I am just not a natural coach?

Nope. Really not.

Of course my age group (3-4 year olds) makes my role feel substantially more like "preschool teacher" or "cat herder" or "zoo keeper" than "coach".

My husband gets to maintain the coach title. Not me.

Luckily I went into this with an enthusiastic co-coach who has not only picked up my slack but run with it and has had incredible commitment to the team and quite possibly more natural preschool teacher/cat herder/zoo keeper in him than I do.

I have complained a few times about parents on sports teams and I am quite sure that at least on one occasion, my husband was viewed as "one of those parents".

One more week left and really it was fun. Do it again? Unlikely. I am happy to think that my son is getting to the age and ability that his next coach needs to be someone with more than recreational commitment, which means that AB is already talking about coaching Skadi's team. Which means I should be off the hook, right??

Here are my issues...

First off I suck at Arts and Crafts and cutey things. What does this have to do with soccer? In baseball the coach (also a kindergarten teacher...) had cute little foam seat pads for the kids to sit on and every time she brought snacks it had pencils and ribbons and fancy name writing. Little pails for the kids all decorated at the end of the season.

Me? I have intentions... but I secretly comfort myself knowing that the baseball pail is lying at the bottom of he toy box stripped of its decorations...

The parents. Seriously parents. I am not your babysitter. When your child quits running off the field for the play area? That's when you get to sit in your comfy chair in the shade sipping whatever beverage of choice you might have in your Sigg. Yes, I know, my daughter is as bad as everyone else at kicking and chasing the ball 100 yards off the field... but I am out there to chase her! When I invite the parents out on the field to help steer their kids, I am serious. As in "get out here now".

Commitments. Just my feelings I suppose, but when you commit to bringing snack, being at a game, or any other plans for the team, I expect there to be some carry through. Because really, a game without snacks at the end just really, really sucks for the kids. I gave you my cell and e-mail for a reason.

I had one parent this time around with children on each my husband's and my team. She couldn't get her children out on the field. After trying for 5 minutes each night, two nights in a row, she stated to her kids, "ok, you can either go out on the field or we can go get ice cream instead, your choice".

Umm gee, what would you choose? Any surprise that neither of the kids attended more than those two nights? But of course she signed up for snacks... for both teams... which now I get to cover... while she enjoys her ice cream...

Anyways... no it wasn't all bad. I met some terrific and fun kids. I practiced my preschool teacher skills just in case this whole Ph.D. scientist thing doesn't work out. I got out and ran with the kids. I held lots of hands on the field and was the recipient of many "flowers" from the field from my kids. I got lots of hugs. I got to play the role of "monkey bars" for the kids. My kids got to win (frequently thanks to one little Beckham on my team).

Naw, it wasn't all bad. Afterall, its making it an experience for the kids.

(Maybe my tags should be a hint... when I type "Coach" in I get "purse"...)

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