Friday, April 24, 2009

Four Snakes and a Rhino

It’s soccer season again around these parts. Of course, besides the laughter of children playing a child’s game in the local parks, that also means it’s time for me to grab my whistle and tyrannize my filly’s team.

I don’t coach just to “win.” I coach to crush souls and destroy dreams.

The winter has made them weak. Our first game was this past Sunday and they loped and lolly gagged around the field like, well, first graders playing in a park. That will not cut it. We need to be a lean, mean fighting machine. The kind of wrecking ball described so aptly by Mickey while training Rocky. I want the kind of kicks that thwap off the opposing kid’s abdomen so hard that their future child won’t even think about playing soccer. I demand a rapid fire scoring attack that leaves the other team slurping their post game juice box in between heaving sobs of defeat.

You might recall that I documented our fall season experience quite a bit (starting here.) I was never satisfied with the way the team rounded into form. They didn’t taunt enough after scoring. They hardly ever bent over, made a smooching sound, and waved their rears in the opposing parents faces. Forearms to the back of a defenders head while the ref was looking elsewhere? Not a one. And you’d think maybe, just once, one of my kids would realize why I brought that folding chair to each game. Yeah, right, to sit on.

My team came back and won Sunday after a rousing halftime pep talk (by your truly, of course) erased a 3-1 deficit and turned the game to a 5-3 victory. My filly scored a goal. Just one. Since she scored just one goal, I gave her an appropriate Congratulations: I clapped with one hand also. Want sound to go with that clap? Score two goals.

This season, things will be different. Which is why I’ve instituted a training technique called Four Snakes and a Rhino. The seven kids arrived at practice last night with, I’m sure, high hopes that “things would be different.” Na-un. They won’t be. I could immediately see that on their crushed little faces.

I had an obstacle course set up complete with the cones for weaving the ball through, flag stations for executing a perfect throw in, and a speed tunnel to race to the goal before the finishing kick. Sounds easy right? They even brightened a bit thinking maybe things would be different.

That’s when I informed them - in the most deadly serious way possible - that I had stayed up all night digging a huge pit somewhere on the field in which I placed four deadly snakes and a snarling, ill-tempered rhino. And then I covered the pit over with grass to blend in. If they stood too long on one spot, they’d fall in. And the team would be without one slacker. Better be fast!

Their eyes grew wide. They bought it! One child barfed and called out for mommy. Mommy wasn’t going to help you kid. You are on Coach Nitmos time now. If they only knew that there was no pit. No snakes. No ill-tempered rhino. (Honestly, first graders are so gullible.) If they only knew how hard it is to obtain an actual rhino (and the expense and red tape involved), they’d thank me for all of the hours of wasted effort!

They executed the drill wonderfully albeit with a few too many tears for my taste. That’s all right, I believe there is an expression that says something like “tears are just weakness leaving the body.”

Our next game is Sunday. The few days of sleep for the kids between then and now might be filled with night tremors, nightmares and sudden convulsive shrieks. It’ll all be worth it when they stand victorious blowing kisses to the defeated team being escorted to their cars* under the concerned gaze of the attending, city mandated police officer.

If my team should lose? Well, I’m sure they’ll enjoy our next practice and our new drill: Five Fingers and the Bamboo Chutes.

Happy trails.

* aka Losermobiles
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Last night, 9.5 miles @ 7:07 pace. I'm attempting to arrange a late registration into the Bayshore Half Marathon held on May 23rd. This will give me a short two week recovery time after the Flying Pig Marathon. I'd like to use this half marathon as my baseline to work against for some summer speed work. We'll see if I can get in.

22 comments:

Lily on the Road said...

Do they get to wear helmets?? LMAO

Vanilla said...

I got suckered into coaching my kid's team this year too. We've only had one game due to rainouts but we won it in resounding fashion 11 - 3, proving that I'm a better coach than you are.

Spike said...

I recently received a yellow card for hitting an opposing player in the head with the ball. Despite my protests and my pointing out of her huge head and the apparent gravitational pull it had…I was still penalized.

Run Bayshore for no other reason than I’ll be there.

Xenia said...

Good lord, now we're going to have you and Vanilla competing to be best coach. The poor, poor children...

Vava said...

I'm coaching the olders son't two different baseball teams this year. A new experience for me, and it is tough getting all those bloody kids to LISTEN! I have to get tougher, following your lead...

And thanks for the comment on my blog. To answer your question, yes, the Jays seem to be using the 15-day DL as their farm team for pitchers. I'm hoping for a call up sometime soon, and I've never even played the game. I figure they'll be looking for anyone who can stand some ridicule, and for the league minimum I can be a really good jackass!

tfh said...

You still sound like a softie compared with some of the moms on the sidelines around here.

Jess said...

Haha oh man I'm glad I never played on Coach Nitmos' team. I would have been scared to death of the snakes!

Roisin said...

Sounds like you'd be just the right guy to help the Cubs this year.

X-Country2 said...

Your child's future therapist will thank you for moments like these.

Jess said...

How many soccer seasons does Michigan have? Sounds like not enough, if they're getting weak over the winter. My suggestion is to conduct practice in the snow. I think it will help you meet your goal of soul crushing and dream destroying.

Beth said...

Congrats on getting your first grade team to actually play the game. When my kids were that age, all the kids cared about was the snack. Shows what a little fear can accomplish. Good job!

joyRuN said...

I signed Thing One up for his first ever soccer team - Kindergarten soccer should be low pressure, right?

RIGHT???

Katie said...

I'm running the Bayshore 10k! Sorry I'm not up to half-marathon status.

Marlene said...

Rallying for Coach of the Year again, I see!

Spartan7 said...

There are more animal references than usual as of late. Is something going on with you, dude?

Another good post.

Marci said...

Good luck with Bayshore! Ahhh another summer of speed?! :)

nwgdc said...

Do me a favor: google 'green death youth coach,' read the articles that search provides, and then provide your insight and analysis.
I would provide the link but this comment is being typed on a blackberry. That's how improtant it is that you do this for me.

chia said...

LMAO good thing MI CPS has such lax practices ;-).

Check it out... http://chiarunner.blogspot.com/2009/04/shopping-for-motorcycles-getting.html

theloosemoose said...

it's a very good thing that you're coaching a kind, weapon-less sport like soccer. I'm thinking that if the filly chose to play lacrosse or hockey, you just might find yourself in serious trouble.

"Irate First Graders Beat Coach to Death With Lacrosse Sticks."

"Youth Hockey Team Savages Coach With ice Skates."

The Laminator said...

If I only could only coach runners the same way you coach kid soccer...

Best of luck in your marathon and thanks for tracking me last week.

Irish Cream said...

Perhaps you could come up with some sort of shock collar for the kids that would punish them for standing around. Little Bethany stops to pick dandelions? ZAAAP! That'll teach her!

sRod said...

Jesus Christ! I am horrified and laughing all at once!!! Well done. I love this!