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Blissful_in_TX
01-25-2010, 02:57 PM
Our town has a soccer league that DS (almost 6) has been a part of for the last 3 seasons. His team has had the same core group of players, and one of the dads (huge soccer fan) has always been the coach. But last season he started having health/pain problems, so his wife and high school-age son would take over practice or games as needed.

Coach's pain problems have been getting worse and it's uncertain how much he'll be able to coach this upcoming season.

Okay, so DH has a friend he works with who was HUGE into soccer when he was younger. DH wants to ask him if he'd be willing to coach DS's soccer team. He's mid-20s, just married, and no kids of his own yet. Now *I* personally think that's a pretty big imposition to ask of someone (soccer practice twice a week, game Saturday mornings). DH honestly thinks it will be fun for him and doesn't see the problem.

So how does it work where you are? Are parents always the coaches at this young age of players?

1grl1by
01-25-2010, 03:24 PM
has varied. One guy who coached his team for about 3 years was a young man who had just graduated from high school, was attending the community college while waiting to get into the police academy. He had grown up in the same soccer program and was very enthusiastic about playing and the boys on the team loved him.

He did always rely on a parent to do some of the organizational work ... snack lists, etc.

Once he started at the academy he did not have the time to coach, but he continued to act as assistant coach for another 2 years while a dad was the head coach.

It is a huge time commitment. In addition to the practices and games, there are coach's meetings and paper work.

Robyn1007
01-25-2010, 03:50 PM
I'll pipe up as a single young woman with no kids coach. I coach ski racing which while a different sport presents it's own set of challenges. I coach at a resort that is 1.5- 2 hours from me and commit every Saturday except 1 from the first weekend of December until the 3rd weekend in March. I get up at 4:45 on Saturdays and often don't make it home until 7 or 8 in the evening. Plus 1 or 2 Sundays and a few other meetings each season.

Yes, it's challenging. Yes, it takes a lot of time and commitment but in the end I love sharing my love of the sport with young children. Some of my best friends I have made through coaching (either other coaches or parents of kids I've coached).

I really think your husband should as the person if they have any interest. What is the worst that can happen? When I started I'd never dreamed of coaching (my dad was my head coach way back when I raced) myself but a friend and I were having a conversation one day and she said she was waiting to hear back from a friend about coaching for the team and suddenly she said "Hey, do you wanna coach?" and that was the start of it all. Five seasons and probably around 35 athletes later I'm really happy she spoke up that day.

Canice
01-25-2010, 04:02 PM
I don't know anything about coaching, but from an etiquette standpoint (to your point about it asking a lot of his friend) could he position it as an opportunity rather than a request? So the guy can choose to pursue it or not?

Gumbeaux
01-25-2010, 04:39 PM
Our grandkids are that age and their coach has a daughter that is on the team. I think a coach with a daughter on the team is a hand-in-glove fit (even though I believe a coach without a child on the team could do a good job). I've seen several kids have a "melt down" and a coach with a kid that age or that has had a kid that age can handle it pretty good.

I think coaching is a passion and that DH should ask his friend if he is interested in coaching without any encouragement for him to do so. If he immediately says "YES!", I would say that he has passion to be a coach and would probably do a better job than a person that has to be encouraged.

Just my 2¢.

Cafe Latte
01-25-2010, 04:56 PM
My kids were in soccer for several years and it always was a parent of a child on the team that coached. When signing up, you could specify if you were interested in coaching or asst. coaching.

Robyn1007
01-25-2010, 04:57 PM
Our grandkids are that age and their coach has a daughter that is on the team. I think a coach with a daughter on the team is a hand-in-glove fit (even though I believe a coach without a child on the team could do a good job). I've seen several kids have a "melt down" and a coach with a kid that age or that has had a kid that age can handle it pretty good.

Funny you should say that. We tend to find that the coaches without children on the team deal better with meltdowns and such. Maybe because we don't deal with it on a day to day basis so we aren't worn out in that aspect? Case in point, one girl I coach went to a race I couldn't be at yesterday. The woman who worked with her yesterday was not handling her issues well (the girl pushes limits big time) even though she has a daughter the exact same age. We also find that many parents cannot let go of their child being their favorite for the coaching time and the other children don't get equal attention.

cminmd
01-25-2010, 05:14 PM
That does seem like a lot to ask. Maybe your husband could ask him to be a game day coach or to help him come up with drills.
Coaching is a lot of work. You have to pick up uniforms, set up practice schedules, answer tons of parent/kids questions, help set up the fields on game day or take down nets at the end and stay at every practice until all kids have been picked up. You have to report in scores and negotiate with other parent/coaches. That is a lot to ask!
I think if it were me, I would ask my husband if we could be the "head coaches". You and your husband could do all the logistics stuff and then ask this guy to help out in the first few practices to come up with drills and exercises and goalie practice and to help you with positions etc on game day.

Blissful_in_TX
01-25-2010, 05:50 PM
I get up at 4:45 on Saturdays and often don't make it home until 7 or 8 in the evening. Plus 1 or 2 Sundays and a few other meetings each season.

Wow, Robyn that is some commitment – you go girl! :)


from an etiquette standpoint (to your point about it asking a lot of his friend) could he position it as an opportunity rather than a request? So the guy can choose to pursue it or not?

Thanks for all the feedback…..I do think questioning It like that is best all around– the next time soccer comes up mention the situation and “Hey man, if/when you ever want to get back into coaching, let us know b/c we would love to have you!” If he wants to – great for everybody! If he doesn’t – no awkward excuses or feelings of obligation necessary.

I forgot about all the other coordinating involved. I would of course be happy to do any organizing I could; I already unofficially do the post-season party. Unfortunately we personally wouldn’t be able to take over coaching due to DH’s crazy work schedule and me chasing 3-year-old baby girl. But we’ll take it from here and see what happens. Will let you know!

Robyncz
01-25-2010, 08:34 PM
I think there are pros and cons to having parent coaches and non-parent coaches. I don't think one is necessarily better than the other.

But either way, I don't see what the problem is with approaching the guy and saying, "Our daughter's coach can't do it anymore and we're trying to figure out what our options are. We know how much you love soccer and wonder if it's something you'd be interested in doing."

I don't really see the point of beating around the bush or playing games. If he wants to do it, he'll say yes and if he's not interested, he'll say no.

Canice
01-25-2010, 08:47 PM
I understand about being direct, but I truly don't think mentioning it as an opportunity = beating around the bush or playing games. It's the same thing: "We need a coach, and thought it might be something that you'd enjoy; what do you think?" To me that's not much different from "We need a coach; will you do it?" Just doesn't put him on the spot. I think your reco is similar - just not saying "Will you do this?"

TKay
01-25-2010, 08:54 PM
You got good advice above. Just to add my two cents. I agree that if he does mention it to his soccer-loving friend, your dh should present it as a possibility, not a request. The friend could feel like he really needs to do this favor for your dh. Instead, it's an opportunity. If he's into it, great. If not, someone else will step up.

Last year, ds (8) had a coach with no children. I will back Robyn's comment above about sometimes a non-parent handles the meltdowns better than a parent. Plus, there's no temptation for the child to play off the parent's sensitivities or push certain buttons.

On the other hand, this coach had no real concept of how to get kids to do what he wanted them to do. The practices were fine. But kids would get wild and he'd just sort of them go, like whirling dervishes. In truth, I appreciated that more than the coach who demands perfection of energetic little kids who have a hard time staying focused anyway. But I would say that practices weren't as productive as they could have been.

I guess the bottom line is it really depends on the friend and how he is with kids. But if the question is whether he should be asked, I say go for it. Just don't make him feel like he'd really be helping you out to do it.

Good luck.

stefania4
01-25-2010, 09:18 PM
I'm a soccer aunt - DN's teams have generally had two coaches. It is a lot of time to invest, and they retain a lot more coaches by sharing the job.