Coaching the Green Jays

On a recent trip to visit my son, his wife and our only grandchild, Andre, I was fortunate to see the “Green Jays” soccer team play 3 times.   While there is a Texas bird, a beautiful one much like our Painted Bunting, I heard two other reasons for the name selection.  One kid said, “There have never been Green Jays before.”   Another said, “They give us green shirts.”

Six year olds are tough to coach. You can count on two things:

1. If hurt, they will run to their mothers
2. Concentration vacillates.

My friend, Randy Campbell, has advised me, “You can buy grandchildren!” Or stated another way, “Money won’t buy everything, but it will keep the family closer.”  My grandson concentrates currently on quarters. Quarters beget dollars and dollars beget Legos.

He also likes to play goalie   After 40 years of coaching I have learned to put the variables together:
1. Memorize “tip”—Yields 1 quarter
2. Memorize tip 2—Yields 1 quarter plus 2 more if you can repeat tip 1 and tip 2
3. Memorize tip 3—Yields 1 quarter plus 3 more if you can recite tips 1, 2 and 3
4. Memorize tip 4—Yields 1 quarter plus 4 more if you can recite 1, 2, 3 & 4
5. Memorize tip 5—Yields 1 quarter plus 5 more if you can recite 1, 2, 3, 4 & 5

Here were the tips:

1. “The first part of quick is ready.”

2. “Kick it hard, and run fast.”

3. “Never, ever, quit.”

4. “Don’t be scared. Don’t get mad.”

5. “Have fun but learn something every practice and game.”

Andre did very well. Cost me $5.75 in quarters.   I have to admit, I’d sneak other suggestions in on him.    Example for #1: Remember to, as goalie, “Keep your hands up and bend your knees, and keep your feet moving.”   Got to be subtle with  corollary suggestions or he/she will want more quarters.

Not all are given to coaching much at age 6.   I was struck by the reaction of one youngster when a parent shouted, “Kick it!” at her.    Her face clearly stated she had no intention of kicking anything.   Don’t know about Boulder’s people…There wasn’t a Romney sticker in town, but if she lives in North Carolina in 2027, she’ll be a debutante.

PS: Another Boulder highlight was Sophie’s birthday party…One father brought his two goats.   I asked their names. “The female is Tallulah. The male is Vincent Van Goat.”

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