Tuesday, September 06, 2005

A Disappointing Start to the Soccer Season

Well, our season-opening tournament this weekend turned out to be a bust. We kicked butt our first game, winning 7-2. We knew the second game was going to be tough, because the team we were scheduled to play was in a higher division than us, and top in their bracket. Well, they beat us 5-0, though we did dominate the first half (as evidenced by our shots on goal compared with theirs - all 3 of their shots went in; our 10-12 did not). Second half, we were tired, and I think the very first goal, a fantastic bicycle kick that couldn't have been saved by anybody, just had that much time to work on the boys. Our second goalie did a fantastic job holding the net; one of the 5 points was a bounce off of one of our players - he tried to clear it, but it bounced right on in. Even with this shut out, if we had a shut-out for our 3rd game Sunday (which should have been entirely possible), we could still make it to the semi-finals, and then have a very good chance of moving on to the finals.

Well, Sunday comes, and the boys are all pretty pumped. Then the coach shows up. I don't know if he was retaliating for the loss on Saturday (there is no way he believes that team was that good - it's all the fault of the people who he left to coach during his suspension - how naive), or if he just really didn't have a grasp of what was going on, but anyway, he had all kinds of players playing all kinds of positions except the ones they've been playing. It was utter confusion out there, and it was downright painful to watch. Again, back to an earlier post about the difference between the parents that are players/coaches vs. the ones who don't have a clue - we could see right off that they were confused because he had them all mixed up, and the other parents were all "You need to work together" and "You need to talk to each other"; that's all fine and dandy, but didn't have a damn thing to do with what was going on on the field. I was hot, boy, let me tell you. I'm sure a few of the parents heard me, too, but they need to know that what the coach was doing was wrong, and there wasn't a damn thing the boys could do about it, except run around in circles, per his direction, and get frustrated. The last 10 minutes of the game, he finally had the normal line-up in, and we came back from 2-0 to lose 4-2.

We had an excellent ref that game; he was very into it, and we knew what he was calling, and he wasn't going to let it get out of control. We should have walked all over that team, but our coach lost it for us. And afterwards, he was like, "So, what was the reaction on the parents' side?" I'm pretty sure everyone saw me fold up my chair and throw in on the ground. He was told that it would be discussed when the kids weren't there to hear it. And our trainer needs to be prepared to hear it, too; we need to undo the damage that was done by all that moving around - he even moved people to completely different positions in between plays! WTF??? When you get to this age, each player needs to be taught specifically 1-2 positions, and the formations using those positions and how they relate to each other at all times. Having no trainer last year, our current trainer has pretty much had to start at the ground floor, and work up to getting them to where they should have been a year ago, so in all reality, we are more than a year behind where we should be to compete at this level. The coach does not realize just how lucky he was last year to have a winning season; he had one player that scored 42 goals over the course of a year, but he was also a huge problem - he had a very bad attitude, towards the refs and towards his teammates. We don't miss the attitude and the trouble he started, but I think we will miss his goals, especially because we have moved up a division.

We did our very best to let a few of the boys know that their coach lost that game, not them. I think they knew it, but I'm wondering how many of the parents who don't get it will take it the other way, and push their boys too hard. We had quite a bit of that last year, and those did not come back this year - it wasn't worth it to them to bust their asses and still be blamed for things that were totally not in their control. We had 6, maybe 7, players out there to play Sunday, and those were the ones who got put down or ignored by the coach. You know, when he spends an entire practice harping on one kid (out of 3 with longer hair) needing a haircut, instead of, you know, teaching them soccer skills, you can guess he's missing the picture. He's missed the bigger picture, the boat, and the horse he rode in on, as far as I can tell. But you can't tell him anything, and there's nobody to complain to - the board are all his buddies - he had a winning season, so what's the problem? It was just plain stupid; it's as though he was purposely sabotaging the team. I don't get it. Right now, there is nothing he could say to rationalize what went on from the very second that first whistle blew.

On a lighter note, I worked on my pumpkins a little Sunday night. I didn't work on beads at all - I need to get some silk thread for those cranberry potato pearls I bought at the show; I can't wait to have those on. I read quite a bit - well, not as much as I would over a 3-day weekend, but more than I have read lately. I didn't do much of anything yesterday - still recouping from not sleeping well at the hotel Saturday night. We had one of the other players with us, so the little kid slept with Mommy and Daddy; I had knees and feet in my back all night. They all slept fine, of course. I want to get my pumpkins done so I can get back to the castle picture; I need to get the dust off of it (it's covered, but I didn't cover it for a few weeks, thinking I'd be back on it sooner). Eh, it'll wash - they always do. We spent a good bit of the camera money on the tournament (gas, food, Gatorade, new sweeper), so I have no idea when I'll actually get to go camera shopping; the website is going to be incomplete without that, and there isn't much point to getting a license until I am actually ready to be open for business. It'll all come together eventually; it's just going to keep nagging at me until it does, and it makes me feel all unfinished and scattered. And god knows we need more scattered-ness around here!!!

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