"Go right, Gracie. Yeah! Run down the side. Lucy's open. Pass it to Lucy. Go to the goal. Megan, go up and help them. Now run up. Oh. Go get it from her. Tricia, run up the side. Don't use your hands. Go. Go. Julie, be ready to go in. Guard the goal. Don't let them get it in. Now, run to the right. Go to the left. Dribble the ball. Try to score."
At first I was a bit annoyed with the insesant yelling when I just wanted to watch my son play. Then the thought hit me, "What kind of coach are you?"
My mind instantly went to my home.
"John eat don't spill your food. Addie pick up your jacket. Joel, why are you bugging your brother. Brooklynn, go get the laundry. Ethan, your shirt is filthy, go change. No, David. David, stop. David!"
So, really, what kind of coach am I? I started reflecting on the sport coaches my children have had over the years. Currently, JL's coach is more the quiet type (with a highly organized sidekick). They teach during practice, but then simply let the boys play the game, practicing what they've been taught. As I pondered this I came up with 2 Principles for Coaching our children.
Principle #1: It's in the field,on their own, where they need to learn to make decisions based on what they were taught. "Teach correct principles and let them govern themselves, right? If I, as the coach, am constantly giving my players direction while on the field they may not learn to make those decision on their own or they may stop listening to me when it is the right time to teach. Making mental notes on the sidelines of where they may falter and then finding the best way to teach them may be more effective than teaching in the moment.
Principle #2: One core concept as the base will set a pattern allowing players to play the game almost without thinking. My mind then reflected on our favorite coach thusfar. JW was with the same soccer coach for several years. This coach was amazing. He told us at the beginning, "I just want the boys to learn one thing: Up the side, to the middle, in the goal." And he did just that. This coach was also very positive and encouraging. His style of coaching reminded me of a primary teacher long ago. Her goal was simlar, to teach the Sunbeams just one thing: that Jesus was in their hearts. The lesson was simple, but effective.
What is my one concept? Am I so concerned about all of the mundane things that I fail to teach them the one thing I need them to know. The scriptures teach, "And again, inasmuch as
So, as I shut off the yelling coach behind me and focused my energy on cheering for my son from the sidelines, I determined myself to become a better coach for my players and to focus on the things that matter most.