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.
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→