|C/O Metro Women's Soccer League|
Let me take you back about 4 years ago when my stepdaughter still played soccer. Due to a scheduling conflict, the regular coach couldn’t make it to the next game so I was asked to sub in. I knew nothing about coaching other than when I wrestled in high school and virtually nothing about soccer other than playground games I participated in. Luckily, my stepson had played before and he decided to help me out. So, game day arrives and I try to keep from sh!tting my pants as I recorded the young ladies’ names as they arrived. Once the game started I assigned them positions and let them have at it.
Here’s where things get interesting.
Since I have no idea about even the strategies the coach had installed, I couldn’t even tell the girls what to do. The only thing left for me was to cheer them on as they played. Eventually, I noticed that the ladies on the field started changing their positions of their own accord. Ladies who I had assigned as strikers moved to midfield or defense as an example and essentially, most of the team had shuffled around by themselves. My stepdaughter for example is a violent striker, but she moved back to midfield to help the team out. She was a star that day, I know she HATED midfield.
Those girls started kicking the living SH!T out of the other team!!
While my stepson called out soccer related directions, I continued cheering on the team. That’s at least one good thing about my ADHD as I’m very loud and can scream for days on end. By halftime we were up 5-0, and by the end of the game the score was 9 - 2, although the official score was noted as 8 – 2. I wasn’t just happy that the girls had won, I was happy with how they played. One young girl in particular was simply a wallflower in the past, and as I assigned positions she had told me that she was very easily distracted so putting her in as goaltender would be a very bad idea. Normally she was off by herself and rarely got into the game. She played defense that day and anytime the ball got into her zone, she fought like a wolverine to get the ball out. I never saw that before and I made sure to cheer her on every time she engaged. She wasn't the only one and I had never seen the ladies play so hard in the games previous.
To this day I tell people that I can't take credit for how they played, they simply found their natural positions and went from being a meager house league team to a machine who surprised their competitors that day.
I was repeatedly asked if I could coach their other games and even once the coach returned I was asked yet again if I could helm their second half (edit; of a game, sorry for the confusion). I considered taking the Coaching Course so that I could instruct a team in the coming season when reality hit me later that year. This wasn’t a boy’s team, this was a team of young girls and I considered the issues, which could come from a situation such as this. While the chances of something happening was most likely very slim, I really thought about what COULD happen from a disgruntled player or her mother as an example.
I had already read online about a man who was in this very same situation, he had the skill and the knowledge to coach girl’s soccer, but due to the prevalence of false allegations, he opted out of coaching altogether. In the end, I told my wife that as much as I had fun coaching the girls that one game, that I didn’t think the risk was worth it. That memory is bittersweet to this day as I considered how well the ladies played, but I simply think it a sad reality that men need to re-consider their roles when dealing with young people, and especially young women.