Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Game of Coaching

I thought being a coach would be easy. I thought all I had to do was give the team some pointers, come up with some plays, set a schedule and show up for the games. Turns out coaching isn't that easy. This past weekend my team had a tournament up in Santa Barbara. During the first game I thought I was going to have a heart attack. Our attack was out of sync, our defense was non-existent and we were being completely out hustled. And all I could do was pace the sidelines and yell. No one told me that coaching is actually an ancient Chinese method of torture. Seriously, sometimes I feel like I would be more useful sitting in the stands holding a foam #1 finger.

Thankfully, our team turned it around and managed to win our next three games. However, in the last game I realized again I'm just not cut out to be a coach. At half time we were up 9-1, so I decided to pull some of my starters and play some people who hadn't seen any action over the weekend. I figured with a running clock and that kind of lead we would be fine. Unfortunately, the opposing team started to come back and I was faced with a moral dilemma. Do I pull these poor kids, who just aren't as talented as my other players, or do I let them finish the game and barely win? Eventually, I decided to keep them in, even though my team thought I was crazy. We ended up winning 9-7, but I think I learned a few things this weekend:

One: I need to find a way to suit up at half time and play for my team. Or take anger management classes.
Two: I need to get tougher and not care that my bench players have paid to play, have come to all the practices, kept away from drugs and alcohol and cry themselves to sleep each day they don't see the field. It's about winning. Plain and simple.

Yeah, I'm not really confident either I'll be able to carry out any of these realizations.

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