I'm without a voice today because last night I spent the evening cheering and coaching my soccer teams against one of the strongest teams in our conference. If you haven't been reading my blog long, I should let you know I'm a high school girls soccer coach and currently our season is in full force.
Last night was a must win for our varsity squad and unfortunately, we did not. However, more than the disappointing loss, I was disappointed with the lack of sportsmanship and tact coming from the opposing coaches and parents. We coach children and young adults to educate them and last night my girls learned a valuable lesson in heartache. They learned to fight to the very last second for that ultimate goal and they knew every second without a doubt they were giving their very best they had.
As a coach win or lose I try to look at the larger picture in life. What are these young girls going to take from this expereience, what can we give them as soccer coaches, other than soccer skills that they are able to carry with them for the rest of their lives. In our coaching philiosophy we try to instill character, first, last and always. Bottom line.
Last night, the opposing team lacked character in my opinion. And I blame the coaches. A few examples; one of my players fouled an opposing player, my player tried to shake her hand and apologize, no dice, the opposing player blew her off. On my team that would not fly. Again, I blame the coaching staff for not educating these players on good sportsmanship. It gets better. On of my players was tackled and kicked in the head by an opposing player. After the foul was called the opposing player laughed about my player being a bit shaken up. Lastly, one of my defenders was deliberately kicked in the face by an opposing player. The opposing player was given a yellow card and made leave the field. This player also laughed, and this players parents yells, "it's ok, you're still winning." yes you're winning, the score on the scoreboard is 1-0 but what is your daughter winning? A better sense of good sportmanship or sense of self by kicking someone else in the face, I doubt it. What bothered me the most about last night was not that we were on the losing end of the number of goals scored. It was that the behavior exhibited by the other team was fueled by the coaches and parents, adults... What are we teaching the future of our country, kick people while their down, dont be good sports?!? This concept boggles my mind.
What I do know is that my girls will recover from this lose, knowing that they gave it their all, and although they came away with less goals scored they can surely hold their heads high knowing they were the ones that may have taught the "winners" of the game a lesson or two in life.
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