No, it’s not baseball time…..well, actually it is. But the play ball is for soccer starting, not for baseball.

Today was my first practice as a volunteer coach here in Kentucky. They do things quite differently here than when I coached in California so I’m trying to keep an open mind and remember than I am the outsider. For example, in CA the soccer season starts in late August and goes until right before Thanksgiving. Here, they go for 5 weeks and that’s it. It is very compressed so as not to compete with T-ball or basketball.

So I have 10 kids on the team — all 4-6 years old. Quite a range when you compare them in size and skill. I will have my work cut out for me. But they are all good kids and I hope to meet my main objective of making this fun for them so that they will return to play soccer next season. If I can sneak in a soccer skill here and there, I will do so. But at this age, it is mostly to familiarize them with the concepts and to make it fun. Any more than that confuses their short attention spans (and overworks me trying to orchestrate chaos amongst 10 very active kids).

We had a great practice tonight. I already know all the kids’ names. And right off the bat we have a game tomorrow night. Like I said, they do things differently around here.

I am very proud of my son. He can sometimes be shy in that kind of environment. But he just took right off and was one of the more assertive ones kicking the ball in the beehive of tiny soccer cleats meandering with the black and white core aimlessly around the field.

And by coaching I probably doubled the number of people I know in town. Even the mayor’s little girl is on my team. And she is quite good.

…..Dan at aslowerpace dot net