Priority 1 is Our Kids

Sometimes it's hard to know what the right thing to do is.  Sometimes, it's easy to know, but hard to do.  I had that problem this week.  I sent the message below to our parents:

I want to emphasize one thing before today's game. The primary reason we're signed our kids up for soccer is to let them play soccer.
This is a great opportunity for us to let our kids be independent.
If you are telling them what to do while they're on the field, you are making them dependent.

Cheer, encourage, clap, yell, just don't coach or command. It's not easy, but certainly we can do that for our kids.

They'll make mistakes. Where could a mistake be safer yet have more immediate feedback than on the soccer field? It's a great opportunity for our kids to grow. Did you learn to ride a bike by being told how to do it? No, you didn't. You had to get on it, crash a few times, and learn from those mistakes.

Priority 1 is our kids. Below that is winning. Please keep that in mind.

I didn't coach them from the side; I've had enough practice at that to get it right.  However, when the game was over and we'd run out of time, I was very disappointed we'd lost.  They'd played so hard.  They took care of each other.  I should have been thrilled.  Instead, the hard loss was very present on my mind.  I realize now, from the start of the game, I'd let the priority of winning climb up the ladder to number one.  Next time, I'll be sure to keep the kids as number one.  With the effort they put in, I couldn't be prouder.  They deserve a coach that can keep that straight.

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