Why I quit hating soccer.....besides the soccer moms!

John_Mc

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I deal with youth tennis.

We have not gotten to where girls play boys in singles.

Of all the troubles/issues, 8 of 10 are the parents.

MoKelly
I agree.

Many years ago, the YMCA in my home town in Ohio finally started a youth soccer program. It was a big football town. I was one of the only people in town who had actually played the game (and possibly even seen a game). I had also been certified as a referee back when I was in high school. Despite having no kids at the time, I volunteered to Ref some of the games for their league. A few weeks before the first game, I was asked if I would coach a team. I said "no, my work schedule will not permit me to guarantee that I can be at every game, let alone also run practices. Further, I'm not a coach." They begged me, and said they had a mother who had coached a lot of sports, but knew nothing about soccer. Perhaps I could assist and help her out with skills and drills. I agreed to assist her as well as ref.

BIG MISTAKE.
The first problem was that they combine K-3 grades in one league. Maybe that works in some other sports, but it's just too large a spread in soccer - particularly when not one kid had ever played before.

The second problem: over the entire season, I never did even see the mother who was supposed to be the head coach. As far as I know, she did not even show up to watch the games. I did see plenty of her kid, though.

Some of the coaches were a problem. We were supposed to give everyone equal playing time. Since we had such a wide spread of ages, I would meet with the opposing coach and say something like "I'm going to play my K-1 players in the 1st and 3rd quarters, and my 2nd & 3rd graders in the second and 4th. Does that work for you?" They would look at me like I was nuts and say something like "I'm going to play who I need to play." They would then play all of their 3rd graders and their 2nd graders the whole game, and sub the others in - many of the weaker players only getting a couple minutes of playing time the whole game. They would encourage their stronger player to intimidate and just flatten the smaller kids. (They learned better in the games that I ref'd: I would start handing out red cards and throw the bullies out of the game.)

The WORST were the parents: screaming at their kids to "smear that other kid". Screaming at me because I was not leaving their 3rd grader in more of the time and was not playing all of our best players full time to get the win. I had one parent holler at me in one of the games where I was both reffing and coaching that "I don't know what they are paying you, but it's too much." Since this particular dad had been a pain in the butt the whole season, I stopped the game, asked both teams to take a breather, and walked over to the parent. I quietly said to him (so the kids could not hear, but the other parents could): "You have taken the award for the most unsportsmanlike person at every game this year. We are supposed to be giving all the kids equal playing time. I do that since it's important if they are going to get better. This league is about learning, not stacking a team to just go for the win. Your behaviour has made this season far less fun for your own kid and for every other kid out there. Your insults about opposing players are completely out of line. For your information, I volunteered as a ref, not a coach. I ended up doing both, having to take time off from work to do so. I don't even have a kid out here. It would have been great if the person who said she would be head coach had bothered to show up at all this season. Its not what I signed up for, but depite the harrasment from you and others, I stuck with it so the kids can have a team. I dont see you or any of the other parents lifting a finger to help with the coaching, or even a simple thing like carrying the water jug out before the game or helping pick up after a practice. If you want the whistle to ref and would like to coach for the rest of the game, have at it. If not, sit down and SHUT UP, or I'm ending this game and your kid's team can find another coach."

Wow! I guess this subject hit a nerve. That was about 35 years ago, and I can still remember it like it was yesterday. I'm getting all wound up and pissed off just thinking about it
 

Frankenkubota

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Funny. I coached my kids base ball team, young teens. At the time I owned and ran 2 different businesses, one a restaurant, the other, a traveling salesman. I probably had less time than any other parent. I loved it.

At the beginning of the second season i sent a question to each parent. Do you want to see all the kids get equal time or do you want me to coach to win. Out of 20? questioners, I received 1 back that said equal time.

We never won another game.
 

MossRoad

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I coached grade school girls softball for a few years. Our rules stipulated everyone has to bat at least once before you can switch up the batting order. We had 3 schools that none had enough for 1 team, so we ended up with 19 girls on the team! If you go 3-up-3-down, it would take over 6 innings just to bat our team. Games were limited to 4 innings or 2 hours, whichever came first, due to afternoon early sunset in the fall. So we'd have games were some kids never batted. So every game, we'd move the bottom 3 players on the batting order to the top of the list. That way, your kid got to bat in the 1st inning a few times per season. Now doing that assured that your best batters might not ever get into a game, but all of this was discussed with the parents before the season started, and they all agreed they'd rather see their kid get to play VS going for the win. And surprisingly, we won more than half of our games, and did very well in the tournament at the end of the season, finishing in a tie for 1st, as the final round was rained out.
 

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We live very close to Washington State University and attend a LOT of college sporting events over the course of a year, both men's and women's. Our favorite sports are in this order: Women's volleyball, women's soccer, women's basketball, men's basketball, men's football, men's baseball.

Although women have less athletic skill, they try harder, play smarter, work as a team better, are better disciplined, and don't beat their chest as much as to say "Look at ME! Aren't I Great!"

Personally I don't find find trash talking hilarious. I find it disgusting, in any sport at any time, at any level. To see an 8 year old girl doing it, I would feel disheartened.
 

CalG

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Since it's "soccer hell story time"

Let me put in to the pot.

I coached k-8 at the local school over the years , following my kids.

We had a pretty fair number of players (co-ed) at the 3rd-4th grade level. A nearby school came to play. The other team's coach came to me right away and wanted to play 7 v 7. I looked at her and said "I've got 30 kids eager to play ".

When the 11 V 11 game started, I threw two more balls out on to the field. The kids had a riot, not a word of dissent or confusion from either side*. but it was hard on the goal keepers. \ I rotated in like a short order cook!

* kids at that age are still "I" centric. If it doesn't involve them, it doesn't effect them. ;-)
 

scaredychicken

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We moved to a small acreage in the country, and anticipated that our kids would eventually get into at least some 4H programs, while they grew up. NOPE, all 3 were gifted athletes, and in demand at their school / community.

I probably spent 20 yrs watching, supporting, time / clock / score board, and bench coaching my 3 kids (two daughters, and a son) ... I loved it.

Soccer - all 3 kids ultimately played Rep Team Soccer, into their late teens
Volleyball - all 3 on school teams
Basketball - all 3 on school teams
Ringette - 1 daughter, highly skilled and focussed, played and excelled at this - played on Local Teams, Regional Rep Teams, Specialized Teams, ultimately played in numerous tournaments, BC Provincial championships (her team annually earned spots) The BC Winter Games (she was selected, several years), The Western Canadian Ringette Championships (she was selected twice, held every 4 yrs), She Coached younger girls, and was a Referee for several years also. Her coaches had her gearing for Women's Hockey in Olympics.
Badminton - son was partlicularly good at this, went to tounaments and BC Winter Games
Football - son played for three years
Track & Field - all 3 kids

In spite of all the busyness back then, I miss it now.
 
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Streetcar

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I was coaching fourth grade girls basketball. Down by 2 going into fourth quarter. I announced the players. One of the girls ask me if another girl could go in for her because that girl is better and she wants to win the game
 

MossRoad

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I was coaching fourth grade girls basketball. Down by 2 going into fourth quarter. I announced the players. One of the girls ask me if another girl could go in for her because that girl is better and she wants to win the game
One of our kids was NOT a gifted athlete when it came to basketball, but was very team oriented. She knew her place on the team was to be as aggressive on defense as possible during practices to work her 1st string team mates really hard. Then in most games they'd go up by 20 points quickly, then she'd get to play and she loved it. They'd keep passing her the ball and make her take the shot. One year she made 4 points! :ROFLMAO: She switched to golf in high school. Ended up being a pretty good golfer, and made all conference team. She said, "Dad. No one tries to steal your ball in golf."
 

John_Mc

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Funny. I coached my kids base ball team, young teens. At the time I owned and ran 2 different businesses, one a restaurant, the other, a traveling salesman. I probably had less time than any other parent. I loved it.

At the beginning of the second season i sent a question to each parent. Do you want to see all the kids get equal time or do you want me to coach to win. Out of 20? questioners, I received 1 back that said equal time.

We never won another game.
For that K,1,2,3 soccer league, equal time was one of the ground rules laid down by the YMCA for that age group when they started the league. The aim was that this would be a learning, skill developing experience. At that age, and especially in a town that had never seen soccer before, I agreed with the strategy. In my opinion, one good reason for deviating from that strategy would be to pull someone who was not making an effort.
 
 
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