I have refrained these past weeks from talking about soccer girl's team record... but I can't hold back any further.
Yesterday, in a steady rain, our team (The Sparks) delivered a gunfighter-style beat-down on their opponents (The Dragons). The score was 7 to 3, and while I am proud of what the girls accomplished (I'm the assistant coach), I am most proud of how they accomplished it.
As I mentioned before, I don't know much about soccer, truth being told, I still don't know much about soccer, but what I know about sports in general is this: Hustle Beats Skills, Every Time!
The coach of the team does all of the soccer coaching stuff, while Coach Gunfighter am in charger of fitness and subbing. I have instituted a very important training program that has given our team a, so-far, undefeated record this season.
Would you like to know the secret to sports success? Shall I share with you, some of my wisdom that you usually can only get after climbing tall mountains and asking an ancient sage with a long flowing beard?
Well, here it is... don't tell anybody, but... I make them run. After I make them run, I make them run some more. Next, I make them run... and run... and run.
"That's no secret!", you say?, well apparently it is! The girls are in the U-8 division, which means that they are still very developmental. They are still learning how to play soccer, and the league only allows one practice per week. Since practice time is limited, there is only so much you can
Here is my theory: If the other team has more experienced players, and/or coaches that know more about soccer, if my girls can out-run them through the whole game, their marginal superior ball handling skills mean nothing. Because sure as hell, with my girl's ability to run, the other team gets tired faster. When they get tired they can't play as well, when that happens, there is no way the other team can win.
I want the girls to play aggressive, all-go, no-quit soccer, because that is how you win. I got the evil-eye from some opposing parents last week when I told the girls (in the 4th quarter): "Let's finish 'em, girls! No letup! No Mercy!, NO PRISONERS!" Which is precisely what they did... and beat the other team 10 to 5.
I was so proud.
Oh, don't look at me like that. You have to know, by now, that I am a fighter. The only way to deal with your opponent while he is down is to go in with the bayonet and finish him.
It's all the same.
Our league is recreational. It's about fun... but you know something? You have more fun when you win.
Lest you think I am one of those maniacal "win-at-all-costs" coaches, I assure you that I am not. While the other team spent most of the game, yesterday, physically pushing and shoving our girls around, we never resorted to the same. I loathe cheaters. What we did, instead, was to run the other girls into the ground and outscore them.
I want soccer girl to have a good time when she plays, and she does. She is a hard worker, and gives it her all for the whole game. She makes me explode with pride while she plays and helps her team-mates. She is a good sport and she is tough. I love the look on her face when she scores goals (which she did twice yesterday, and three times last week! WOO HOO!).
I'm a soccer dad.