Monday, October 22, 2012

The world really isn't against you.

The world really isn't against you.  Just saying.  I know it may seem like it is.  Or even better, that someone is out to get you.  What it really is is lack of training.

You may be wondering what that is about.  It happened again this weekend.  A's soccer coach got into a shouting match with the other coach and the referee's.  This time over what should have been a really awesome play in which someone unfortunately got injured.  It was an accident.  I was sitting right in front of it and saw the whole thing.  The coaches were at an angle, so to them it may have looked intentional.

A girl from our team was dribbling the ball up the field and she was flying.  I've never seen her move so fast.  She got close to the goal and started to shoot the ball.  At the exact same time the little girl playing goalie dove for the ball.  I'm sure you can draw a conclusion from here, but I'll play it out for you anyhow.  So, our player is moving quickly.  She saw the goalie dive and tried to stop, but couldn't.  Our player ran smack into the goalie and they both tumbled.  The goalie got stepped on and I know that hurts!  However, because of this the goalie also dropped the ball and another player of ours tried to score.  This is when everyone got all uppity.

The goalie was crying because she was hurt.  The little one who ran into her was upset that she had hurt someone.  The girl who had tried to score the ball after it was dropped was in tears also.  The refs were not there.  It was annoying.

Obviously the coaches were upset with the refs and that progressed to a shouting match.  Our coach pulled all the girls off of the field and threatened to not allow the girls to play.  Other things were said and that's when parents started arguing on the sidelines.

Let me just say right here that Chuck and I were NOT part of that.  Why?  Well, we hold ourselves to a higher standard.  Not to mention that we have a daughter that plays goalie a lot.  These types of incidents are more common than I'd like to admit or watch.  Especially when you have an aggressive keeper who isn't afraid to get run over or kicked.  Our daughter falls into this category and had a giant bruise on her cheek at the beginning of the season to prove it.  The bruise was from a cleat to the cheek.

The point to the beginning of this is that someone at some point said, "It's been this way all season for (my daughter's team) and they are out to get us".  Seriously?  I doubt that.  I mean, they may not like or appreciate all the fussing from the coach, but I doubt they are going to blame a bunch of 6,7 and 8 year old girls for it.  If anything, all the fussing and arguing probable turned some parents and kids away from the sport all together.  We have had big learning sessions from this game and the one I wrote about here.  It's been a rough season, but there have been good and bad lessons to be learned.
Make sure the referee's have proper training.  We had several excellent referee's and they knew their stuff.  I'm talking 6th and 7th grade kids.  The high school kids just didn't seem to give a rats patoot either way.I'm no expert in soccer and I don't claim to be, but here is what I saw as a problem this season.  I hope that in the off season the local SAY board will change a few rules and ways of handling things.

  1. If a coach, parent, referee drops the F-bomb in front of any players they should be ejected from the game.  In the case of a ref or coach, they should not be allowed to be around those kids again.  I don't care who you are or if your parents sit on the soccer board.

  2. There should be at least one adult referee per game.  In my observations, two young kids can get intimidated by the adult coaches and parents.  I never heard of an adult ref being questioned all season long.

  3. Whistles.  They aren't just for show people.  Use them!

  4. Yelling at kids this age scares them more than helps them.  Some cry very easily and will cry even if you are just trying to get them to focus.

  5. Parents; we sign a contract at the beginning of the season stating that we read and will abide by SAY rules.  Did you actually read them or just sign and hand back the form?  In our house, we read them.  We also take them seriously.  Good sportsmanship relies on this.  Parents should NEVER cause a child to cry or be mean a player.  End of story.

  6. At this age, soccer is about fun.  Heck, SAY's slogan is "Kids Having Fun".  Honest to goodness my favorite team to watch this season was the one in last place for the boys division.  Know why?  They played.  They played well and learned fundamentals.  They also had a lot of fun and a coach who didn't yell at them or was extremely competitive.  He would literally sit in a chair on the sidelines and direct.  I never heard a negative word out of his mouth.  Ever.

  7. Finally, if your kid just doesn't like the sport, don't make them play.  Now, that's different than making them finish a season.  Ren just wasn't into soccer this year.  He isn't competitive by nature and this season just didn't suit him well.  Don't get me wrong, his team did fantastic and qualified for the area wide tournament.  He just doesn't like soccer as well as he used to.  No big deal.  We told him he must finish the season, but that he didn't have to play after this season if he didn't want to.  He's decided to hang up his cleats.  We support that decision.

All together, I'm thankful this season is wrapping up.  CS had a great season!  Her coach was great!  The parents were wonderful and the kids were so much fun to watch.  Ren's team won 2nd place and is going to the larger of the two tournaments in our area.  A's team, well, they qualified for the smaller of the tournaments.  I'm just hoping this one doesn't turn out like the last one.  I can't take anymore soccer drama.  My drama meter is tapped out.

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