Every year, my kids ask, but it's usually too tough. We can never make
it work. It seems simple enough, but it's actually a big commitment—eight Sunday
afternoons, coaching soccer. My kids love to play, but this year, just playing
My husband loves doing things with our kids, but as a doctor who takes
call every third night and every third weekend, some things just aren't
possible. He never felt comfortable making the commitment to coach—when he says
he's going to do something, he does it.
But this year, the league sent out a message saying that they didn't
have enough parent coaches. If they didn't have enough coaches, the kids
wouldn't be able to play.
"You know what this means?" I asked my husband.
"I have to do it?" he asked. I nodded my head. "But what happens if I
get called to the hospital?" he asked. I told him we'd figure something out.
My 4-year-old son was so excited and proud to have his dad
coaching, and I was thrilled to see my kid so happy about an activity. But, inevitably,
it happened. There was a game my husband couldn't attend. What's more: since
they didn't have enough coaches to start, there was no assistant coach.
When my friends saw me out there, they joked about how the coach should probably know how to play soccer.
to fall back on. No one to help out.
So, I did what any other mom would do. I laced up my sneakers. (I also put on totally cute yoga pants, but whatever.)
When I stepped out onto the field, I was the only mom out there. Every
other team had a dad at the helm. I wore my husband's coach shirt
with pride (it totally worked with the super-cute yoga pants). I introduced myself to all
of the other parents and the kids, and we got out on the field.
When my friends saw me out there, they joked about how the coach
should probably know how to play soccer. (I totally do. Kind of.) But
leading a bunch of 4-year-olds? How much did I really need to know?
Did I do every drill perfectly? Probably not. Did I send the red team to the black team's goal more often than I'd like to admit? Yes.
First order of business: Getting all of the kids off their mothers' legs and onto the field. One child in particular didn't want to go. He cried and told me he wanted to be with his mommy. I looked at the sidelines and
noticed that his mother was holding a newborn. I told him, "I may not be your
mommy, but I am a mommy, so how about
we have some fun?" He liked my logic. The tears dried up, and he jumped in.
Did I do every drill perfectly? Probably not. Did I send the red team
to the black team's goal more often than I'd like to admit? Yes. But did I make
sure every kid had a blast while they were out there? Well, yes. Yes, I did.