For my son’s soccer season this spring, I volunteered– or, to be frank, my arm was voluntarily twisted– to coach the team.
I enjoy watching soccer every so often. I respect and admire the difficulty and the beauty of the game. I even have a favorite team
to watch, going on 20 years.
However, I also have:
- Little knowledge of the nuances of the game
- No particular skill in playing soccer
- A lack of knowledge on how to train to be a good soccer player, and
- Minimal proficiency in keeping 15 nine- and ten-year-olds focused for more than 3.8 seconds
Four red flags– if not more– blowing in the wind, warning me not to do it.
Before I decided to back out of coaching the team, however, I first talked to my son and asked him if he wanted me to coach the team or not.
He’s a straight shooter (no pun intended), and I thought it only fair to give him the option to ask me not to coach, so as not to embarrass or annoy him or distract him from growing as a player. I wouldn’t be offended if he didn’t want me to do it.
Instead, he said yes, I should coach.
At that moment, I promptly tossed the proverbial red flags in the metaphorical trash can and got to work as coach.
Well, here are the realizations that I had…
My son is nine years old. How much longer will I have the chance to spend time with him before he doesn’t want to be seen within a few feet of me while out in public?
How much longer will I get the chance to do something with him one-on-one before I simply can’t keep up with his energy?
How many times will he and his peers look up to me for guidance and maybe (just maybe) learn something?
Sometimes it’s best to ignore the red flags, and, instead, let the wind take you to new and unexpected places.
Photo taken in Cancun, Mexico circa 2016