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.
* aka Losermobiles
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.