Simon is reaching the age where it is appropriate for his parents to push him into activities in which he would otherwise have absolutely no interest. Er. . . that is, Simon is SO excited that he’s going to be playing Bantam (read peewee) soccer this fall. I was so excited about getting him involved, that I went out and signed up to get certified by the Virginia Youth Soccer Association as a U8-U10 coach (there was nobody offering the U6-U8 course locally).
The course was very valuable, and immediately shattered all notions of coaching youth soccer that I had from my elementary school soccer days. Kids want to have fun? What?! Shocker! No laps?! No LINES?! Half of my time spent in peewee soccer was running laps and standing in lines for certain drills.
The course was run by a coach with over 25 years of coaching experience, and boy did it show. We spent the afternoon out on the field. He first showed us some drills (and quickly exposed our beer guts and poor conditioning), and then we spent a couple of hours watching him actually work with the kids. And I learned that coaching youth soccer is probably more of an art form than anything else.
I have my doubts about coaching a team that Simon is on. I’m not sure how he will respond to an environment where his father is an authority figure outside of “Dad.” But we’ll give it a go this fall and see what happens. Next step? World Cup 2026!