I always thought being a coach would be easy. You show up, grab a whistle, steal some motivating lines from Rudy and tell a bunch of girls what to do. However, after four years of coaching, I can testify that it's not easy and surprisingly entails a lot of awkward moments. I know "awkward" sounds like a strange word, but honestly, it's the only one that fits. For example, during our game today one of my players turned the ball over six consecutive times. It got so bad that I had to signal in to our captains that no one was to pass her the ball. This strategy was working until this particular player got a loose ball and decided to shoot about ten yards out. Now, for those of you who don't know a thing about lacrosse, shooting ten yards out is like shooting a basketball from half court. No one actually does it in a real game, and if they do, it usually entails winning a car at half time.
Anyway, you can imagine I was sort of ticked off at this shot (which mind you, was at a critical time in the game) and I exclaimed from the sideline, "I swear (insert name of player) you are the absolute bane of my existence!" From that, I decided to continue to vent my frustration and said, "I swear she couldn't catch a ball if it was made of glue and she was holding a laundry basket!" Finally, after watching her make another unfortunate mistake, I decided to pull her out. Now, as a coach, I typically like to be ultra-positive when kids come out. I try to use it as an opportunity to coach them and build them back up. However, this time I wasn't really in the coaching mood. Instead, I said something like, "You are killing us out there. I said clean up the turnovers, and what do you do, but turn the ball over. I can't have it. You are killing me!" Now this is where her lip starts to quiver and I feel like a jerk. So, I quickly recover and say, "Hey chin up. You are having a rough day and I just need you to re-group and then you are going back in."* As I went to walk away, she turned around and said to a group of people sitting directly behind us, "Don't worry I'm alright." I then stopped in my tracks and turned around to see her entire family (grandma and all) sitting there with very unhappy faces. I suppose they heard me say the thing about the glue and the bane of my existence. So awkward. I wish Hoosiers or Rudy would address moments like this.
*She actually never went back in.