The spring season is still many weeks away. The fields remained closed. Most kids and parents haven’t a clue where the uniform and equipment were stored at the end of last season.
The posturing, threatening, and grandstanding has begun: parents advocating for their “super-star” to be put on the A Team roster, coaches threatening not to participate due to all the griping–by players and parents, players coming home from school to report that so-and-so said thus-and-such about being on the “best” team.
This is not Division 1 NCAA, the World Cup, or the World Series. This is small town ridiculousness with a sprinkling of magical–even delusional–thinking.
None of the children from my tiny town of 9,000 will ever play Division One anything–never mind the pipe dreams of hoisting FIFA or Commissioner’s trophy aloft.
As it’s impossible to predict the future, you would probably feel pretty confident asserting this: “You never know.”
To that, I say, “You’re wrong. I do know. It’s not happening. Ever.”
And this might be what separated me from my peers when I played and what separates me from some of the parents and coaches of today: I don’t care if they win.
I want them to have fun. I want them to play as a team. I want them to learn skills. If my players do all these things, they very likely will win–and they may lose.
And I don’t care.
Some may see this as a failing as a coach. I’m all right with that. Those who would judge me in that way usually have a vein or two jutting out of a neck or a forehead when they watch their child on the field.
I’ve got a big ol’ smile on my face. It’s one of the benefits of seeing things as they are: a collection of kids, divided into two teams, and a ball.