March Dadness Revisited

The spring soccer season just ended for my daughter, so I went back and re-read my March Dadness post. Here are a few things I learned about  kids, coaching soccer, and my daughter.

1. Kids are resilient – I anticipated tears this season. It wouldn’t have shocked me if my daughter cried on my shoulder about losing or not playing. After all, this was her first time in team sports and she is having to learn how to function in a new environment. Could she handle losing (we certainly did) and sitting down (she certainly did)? The answer is yes.  Not one tear. Zero. She was happy to play, she was happy to take a breather and enjoyed the experience. Turns out the whole team was like that. The worries of March were but wasted time.

2. Kids  listen and get better with practice – Did you know I speak Navajo? It’s true (no, it’s not) because that is the only explanation for why our team just threw the ball to the other team after being asked not to. As the season went on with practice and games, however,  the girls started to do things differently. They got better at throw ins, passing, setting up to defend corner kicks, and figured out that kicking the ball to the other team is not always best. I guess they knew Navajo all along.

3. Coaching is hard, but fun – The second game of the year, the real coach couldn’t be there, so I was asked (along with another dad) fill in. I played soccer 25 years ago, but was not what you would call a “student of the game” or “coaching material”. Turns out, I could do it. As the year went on, I continued to help coach. I found myself wanting to do it. The hard part was when they looked at me in between quarters for what to do next after being down a few goals.  The fun part was seeing them continue to play, get better and enjoy the game.

4. Expect Something Special –  After the first game of the year it was my belief that my daughter wouldn’t score a goal. She was a little lost, unsure about how to react, and not as fast as her team mates. I didn’t think she enjoyed it enough to stay with it. In the final game of the year, a team-mate passed the ball to my daughter and she took a shot. GOAL!  Her mom and grandparents were sitting right behind the goal and cheered loudly. It was perfect! She traded hugs with her team and they were happy for her – she just lit up (me too).

In the end, my daughter ran harder, was in better position and was more confident. She decided to play in the fall even before she scored the goal (that was the cherry on top). I have to remember she’s just a little girl, but is getting older and her confidence is growing. Even though she didn’t need my shoulder to cry on in this season, she knows it will always be there for her.

Leave a comment


  1. Bob B.

     /  May 15, 2012

    Great post, Bradford. We should compare notes. This is my 6 year old’s (Isaac) second year playing soccer. I’m the coach. So much fun to watch these little guys play.

  2. dadford

     /  May 16, 2012

    Thanks Bob! Was this your first year to coach? Second? More?
    To tell the truth, I was more worried about it than the kids. My secret was to wear sunglasses so they couldn’t see the fear in my eyes.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>