Sunday, May 6, 2007

Kick Ass Soccer!!!

Forgive me for a moment of parental bragging.

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 beat into them teach in 90 minutes. So after getting a bit of a warm-up. I make the little SOB's angels run.

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.


cathouse teri said...

Aw... that's so cute.

I'm glad to know you didn't bayonet anyone, though.

Btw, interview questions all done!

See ya 'round!

soccer mom in denial said...

Sigh. My little soccer men are not having as a good a season. Their beloved coach is losing her spark and can't keep the team as a whole engaged. This leads to my guys doing some beautiful footwork, getting the ball away from the other team only to have no one hustle up ahead to be passed to.

There is a little element of "the Italians will do it" from that Will Farrell soccer dad movie. Other parents expect the "twins" to do it.

Terri said...

That reminds me of when my oldest used to play soccer so many years ago... it was soo cute.
They looked like a swarm of bees zooming up and down the field.

Ughhhh... you sound like my dad... he used to make us run run run too!
And do pull~ups!!
He was a military man ... guess that's where you guys get it!

Lawyer Mama said...

Go, soccer girl!

Lady M said...

Go soccer girl!

I really like my current dance coach for similar reasons - no mercy on conditioning. We jump and jump and jump . . . but you know what? I'm getting stronger and enjoying it even more.

steph! said...

"It's about fun... but you know something? You have more fun when you win."

Love that line. In today's PC world it's almost become uncool to want to win. Kids need to know that competition is a part of life. Sports is a great way to teach them that and allow them to learn how to win and lose. We have friends whose son is in the U-12 division who said they now have "silent games". The parents aren't allowed to cheer!?! Ridiculous. How is that preparing kids for the real world?

Congrats to soccer girl, and to you as well, and good luck with the rest of your season.

Janet said...

I remember when you were a reluctant soccer dad. How things change.

slouching mom said...

How awesome both for you and soccer girl.

Slouching Dad is coaching Jack's team this season. It's awfully funny, really, because they're only five year old. SD is used to coaching Ben's teams (eight- and nine-year-olds).

The fives run around the field in a herd and have no idea what they're supposed to be doing.

SD's a little frustrated.

Gunfighter said...


I'm still reluctant... given my druthers, soccer girl would be in an aikido class instead of the soccer field... but her friends play soccer, her fellow Brownies play soccer, and her sunday school mates play soccer. She is a social kid, she wants to play... I'll support it as best I can. See tomorrow's post for the reasons why.