Wednesday, March 10, 2010

A Magical Season

Last Saturday was the final game for my son's U6 Winter soccer season. Each season I have two goals. One I let everybody in on and one I try to achieve without stating it. The one I let everybody in on is that the kids have as much fun as possible. In fact I tell the kids that the first rule of soccer is to have fun. If you're not having fun then it is a struggle to play. It's great to see them have fun and enjoy this game that I love.

The second goal is trying to get every kid at least one goal. I have now coached five seasons. The first four I did not reach my goal. I have come close where only one or two of my players did not score. That changed this last season. Going into the final game I had one player who had not scored.

Now over the course of the two years I've been coaching, I know which teams are good and which teams we are going to kill. Based on that I can put out a lineup of really good and good players that will make the game fun for all.

The final game I knew was going to be a rout. I also knew that there would be a good chance for this last player to score and my secret goal to be achieved. We played through 3 quarters and this player had a couple of chances. I was getting worried. In the last quarter I had him out there playing with two really good players and another player who had only one goal this season. The quarter was about 1/2 over and he still hadn't scored. Then came the breakthrough. My son Sam was on the field and got the ball in a pile of players. The boy who hadn't scored yet was further up-field and I directed Sam to pass the ball. Sam did so and the boy received it in a good position. He dribbled once and shot. Honestly I thought it was going wide and he would have had another chance go by the wayside. To my great surprise and pleasure the ball however went into the corner of the net. I was beaming for this boy. It was really about him and not my goal. But it was a relief that every player on my team had the experience of scoring a goal.

I could mention a lot about this season (like going undefeated or how much the team learned about playing the game) but this one moment where I knew everyone on the team had scored was the best one. Scoring goals boosts the kids' confidence and I know that it also boosts their enjoyment of the game.

Tomorrow is our team party and I plan on divulging what my secret goal has been for each season. I will let all the parents know that I had this goal at the beginning of the season and that this was the first season where everyone scored. It definitely was a magical season and I'm grateful to have been a part of it.

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