Coaching my first soccer game

If you have read this post, you may remember that I am helping my friend coach his son’s soccer team (U6, mostly 5 years old, but I think there is a 4 year old and a 6 year old. I’m not sure what the birthday cutoffs are.)

Our first game of the season was at 9:30 this morning. The way the U6 league works is that there are 2 games played simultaneously (on adjacent mini-fields), each with 3 players per team. Since our roster has 8 players, we assigned 4 players to each game (so I had one squad playing one game, and my friend had another squad playing on the other field), with 1 player sitting out each quarter. At least, that’s the way it was supposed to work. One player on my squad didn’t start the game because he had hurt himself earlier, so the boy who was supposed to sit out the first quarter went in.

Also, there was some confusion since the league had changed the schedule day before yesterday, and some coaches apparently had not checked it, so two different teams showed up to play our team.

I thought the kickoff might be chaos, with players rushing to kick the ball, but it turned out fine. The boys played well, with no tripping. (Several players fell down, but got up immediately.) My youngest player, who was rather shy during practice, scored our first goal midway through the first quarter.

We were supposed to substitute players each quarter, but since we were short a player (the boy who hurt himself), all three boys also played the second quarter.

At the end of the second quarter, the other team’s coach (who definitely appears to be experienced at this) suggested that his team play one of the “extra” teams in the third quarter since my squad would be tired due to no substitutions. Since we don’t keep score in this league, this would not affect anything, so we did it. (We also did this for my friend’s squad.)

The boy who was hurt felt fine before the fourth quarter, so he entered the game at that time.

It turned out to be a lot better than I thought. If this was chaos, it was very organized chaos. The only “trouble” was the number of shoelaces that came untied during the game, so those players had to go to the sideline to have his coach retie the shoelaces.

I can only imagine how tired the kids must be. It was a 9:30 game, I was just roaming the sidelines, and I was really sweating at the end of the game…  I can’t wait until next week!

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3 Responses

  1. That sounds like an awesome time. It’s cool you like it so well!

  2. That shy youngest player who scored the first goal may very well achieved something in that game far more important than the goal itself, such as confidence, self assurance and perhaps some respect from his older team mates. I sure do love to hear stories like this. As for the shoes always getting untied, years ago at one of my sons little league games a fellow mom had all the kids double tie their shoe laces all at the same time right before the game. That little brilliant idea stuck in my small town, and to this day they still do that.

  3. Allison: The double tying is a great idea! (That or velcro shoes…)

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