Tag Archives: Coaching

Building Teams

I am utterly absorbed by coaching soccer.  This has been a surprising development in my life, with many wonderful consequences including the discovery that I love soccer as much as I love leading people.  It is both challenging and fulfilling to help the boys improve at what they do well and strive to get better at what they think they can’t do.  I help them show themselves the power of teamwork.

Coaching kids is remarkably like building and leading a work team of adults.  Everyone has skills; if you’re lucky those skills somehow apply to the task at hand.  Everyone has positive character traits and idiosyncrasies.  Getting people to work together takes being respectful and facilitating trust so that our skills are all a means to a productive, rather than discombobulated, end.

Continue reading Building Teams

Fairy Rings and Porch Cones

Last night at soccer practice, a ring of cones appeared by my equipment bag that looked something like this picture.

Diagram of cones

“Woah, what’s that?  A battle ring?”

“Who arranged the cones like that?”

“It looks like a protective circle or something.”

“Tim must have done that.  Hey, look what Tim did.”

I ignored them: “hey, could you pick those up for me and put them in my bag?”

“Ooo, yuck, is there bug spray on these?  There’s bug spray on these.” Continue reading Fairy Rings and Porch Cones

A Round and About Path to Soccer

My Dad and I, around 1966

I love soccer. That is unremarkable given how many people the world-over are devoted to the “beautiful game.” My path, however, has been less direct than most.

It begins like Mia Hamm, as documented by a photo of my Dad and me “playing” when I was about 3. I learned to walk because I wanted the soccer ball. “Just throw Kim a ball and she’ll chase it,” remarked my sister, years later. When I was older, maybe 8, I remember accompanying my Dad to a few of his games, including one at, gasp, Memorial Stadium, home of the Nebraska Cornhuskers football team.

Hey, where’s the link to the movie of Kim, barely waist high, giggling while weaving the ball in and around the feet of family members? Where’s the interview with her neighbor, friend, and former teammate Katie crowing about the time the C Street Strikers beat the Back Alley Boys on a last second goal Kim scored on a corner? Continue reading A Round and About Path to Soccer