Okay, so we will be honest, soccer is not our favorite sport…we still love a baseball and a pigskin #thruandthru. But in terms of coaching, soccer can be a blast. And even better, put a bunch of 6-8 year olds in the mix, and now we are talking some serious fun. And yes, every Hip Daddy needs to try coaching a youth league at least once…it’s a nice way to give back and truly connect with your kids in a different way. So now that our season is officially over, let’s rap a bit on why we love coaching youth soccer…
Motivation can be fun. And getting a bunch of 8 year olds ‘fired up’ on a Fall Saturday is kind of cool. From the pre-game ramp up to the halftime break and speech to the post game break out, kids need these things to understand sport, especially team sports. Even better, when they start to motivate and cheer for each other…that’s teamwork.
At this younger youth age, teaching the fundamentals is your job. But in all likelihood, teaching them to kick the damn ball as hard as they can into the goal is also pretty good too. Passing is important…at this age, they bunch up a lot which means a couple passes and somebody is wide open and ready to score. Good sportsmanship is also a Hip Daddy Must Teach. Yes, unfortunately some of these kids watch the Pros which means they fake being hurt or attempt unnecessary slide tackles…not productive at this younger age. As a coach, you need to teach them how to be a good player and person on the field..it’s that simple. Oh, and bicycle kicks are kind of awesome too…your call.
Yelling for 60 straight minutes on any given Saturday is sort of enjoyable. It will seriously wear you out, in a good way. Lose your voice? Check, you did your job. Have some parents look at you awkwardly? Yes, that happens. But do all your players hear you and eventually listen and understand…yes? Job well done. Personally, this Hip Daddy likely needs a little ‘therapy’…getting so amped up coaching a bunch of 6-8 year olds might be a little overboard…but we can’t help ourselves, we love it! And we think they do too. So be loud, be productive, it’s okay to yell a bit.
Have you ever tried laughing while you are yelling? Interesting right? Hmm. Let’s just say this is a fact…you will laugh (a lot) when coaching youth soccer. And laughter, my friends, is good. Good for you, good for the kids to see and hear. And likely they will laugh too…which makes your job even more meaningful. When a ball is basically just sitting in front of a goal with 10 different legs trying to kick it…and yet it goes nowhere for like 10 seconds…you can’t do anything but laugh. (Remember, they are 7 years old.) Every Hip Daddy loves laughter, so coach, and you will get a load of them!
Okay, speaking of the above scenario where the ball sits in front of the goal for like a day…yes, that can cause laughter but also severe frustration. The amount of Dads and Moms we see pulling out their hair or letting out huge sighs or yelps during the course of a game is quite high…and it should be. Youth soccer can be frustrating to Coach but also to watch. It’s called being Human, and that is a good thing in our Hip Daddy Playbook.
And Finally, it’s Okay to Want to Win.
Winning and losing are two facts of life, both on and off the field. Therefore, kids need to learn to win and lose. Win with class, lose with grace. Keep your head up, life goes on. Coaches that don’t like to keep score? No thanks. It’s youth soccer so we can’t take anything too serious. That said…it’s okay to lose..AND it’s okay to win.
So we enjoyed our Hip Daddy season coaching. A pure pleasure. We are going to take the winter off and come back hardcore for baseball…watch out! So for all you Hip Daddys that coach…well done, you feel us. And for those who would like to but just can’t find the time to do so…think a little…your kids will love it, and you might just too…that’s a Hip Daddy Promise.