Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Part One: Winning and Losing

Well, the weekend came and went and I still don't feel rested from our travelling last week. However, I am ok with that because there will be another one coming up soon!

The soccer trip to Lincoln didn't go quite as I had hoped, however that has kind of been the theme of our life the past few weeks, personal and professional. I hate to admit it, but my boys have not won a game yet this season. Eric and Matt, moreso Eric than Matt, like to "bust my balls" because of this fact. I don't know how many times I have been "fired" this season due to our record. I have a couple of quotes I tell the boys every year our first weekend in Burlington for team camp. I tell them you are going to lose this weekend, and you will probably lose all five games. I mean it. I want them to know and prepare themselves to lose because they are supposed to lose. It is the first time I get to really coach the team and they are playing against JV teams. They are not supposed to win. I tell them a little about our program and the success we have had over the years. I explain what my job is, what their goal(s) should be, what the coaches expect of them, etc... I also beak the season down into games.  At this level, there is no postseasons, there are no state or media awards, there are no player awards that the team votes on at the end of the season. I don't keep track of stats, who scored how many goals, who comitted which fouls. I don't care. It doesn't matter! What does matter, and what I tell them they need to focus on is learning the game, learning the system we play as a program and making steps forward every game.

I tell them that I don't care if we don't win a single game all season (I have said this since day one). I tell them we could lose every single game we play and I would be ok with that if one thing happens. Well here we are, halfway through the season, and we are winless. Am I upholding my end of the deal? I am not sure. I am competitive. I have never really thought about it too much because I have never had to deal with it the past six or seven years, but I hate losing. However, on the trip home, I replay the games and evaluate whether the boys have done that "one thing" I tell them will make the sting of losing go away. I look to see if they are moving forward every game and making progress. Are they trying to learn the game, our coaching styles, our system and earn a spot on that charter bus instead of on the school bus? My job is not to win games, my job is to teach the boys and share my knowledge of the game and the system and to prepare them for their later years. My job is to make Travis, Eric, and Matt's life easier. Looking back on this season, they have made the progress, with a few little setbacks here and there, that I have asked of them. Even though they are winless so far, it will pay off for them in the long run because as a wise, old coach once said (won't name drop here....) "It's easy to win after everything has been prepared for you!" Even though I always say I don't care if we lose every game, it sure would be nice to see a 1 be put in the "W" column!

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