What follows is the first in what will hopefully become a somewhat regular series into the world of coaching. With my move to St. Louis, I have gotten back into coaching high school soccer. Last year I was lucky enough to help out a high school team as a goalkeeper/assistant varsity coach. This time around, I will be helping out with a local women’s high school, and it will be interesting to say the least.
The first day of tryouts is always exciting. It doesn’t matter if you are a coach or a player; there is the hope of the upcoming season, as well as the excitement of finally getting together as a team to play soccer, or at least to stop running conditioning drills. Everyone seemed excited, but the shackles of rust were present. Some of the play was a little rough to watch, but like a good soldier I plowed through the difficult task ahead of me.
Beginning to coach at a new school can definitely be difficult. I don’t know any of the players names, so in conversations with coaches it is almost impossible to figure out who is playing well and who isn’t. Of course it probably doesn’t help that my ability to remember names borders on the abysmal. For now I will just be that guy who stares at practice from behind a pair of sunglasses, and speaking when I can be arsed too.
Even so early into the season, I can already tell a girls team is far different from a guys team. Yes, this should not come as much of a shock, but I still have to shake my head at some of the things I see. Too often girls will start apologizing after colliding with each other, even if it involves a perfectly legal tackle. They also like to chat, a lot.
Also got a chance to play in goal. Apparently none of the goalies were there so I got “roped’ into playing some keeper. The best part of this was being able to show off for shits and giggles. last year when coaching I found that the players respect you just a little bit more when they see your skills. In my true fashion of laziness, I did just enough to elicit some applause, but nothing that really took any effort. And yes I am a conniving bastard.
I also have a nickname now. One of the girls asked the head coach what my name was, and all of a sudden I hear B Lew! being shouted at me. Funny enough, my nickname in junior high was the exact same. It came from when I was a keeper, and all the forwards would shout B Lew! rather than my full name. Those were some fun times, and my guess is this nickname is going to stick.
Overall it was a fun first day, it was good to get out and run about, and hopefully there will be enough hilarity and craziness in the upcoming weeks to make all of you gasp in horror or roll around laughing.