Over at BigSoccer, a poster discovered firsthand that being a rec soccer coach is NOT easy:

Since my hubby blew out his ACL…he volunteered me to be the assistant coach for my daughter’s rec team. fair’s fair i guess since i volunteered him to start!!

today they played their third game of the season, i just wanted to tear my hair out!! while out of the game, one of them came to me every five minutes to ask how long until the game was over? she wanted to go home and get pretty!! two didn’t want to go in at all. one went in but just stared at the ball as they ran by her, again. this same girl wanted to play keeper but while warming up before the game, my daughter took a shot on goal and nailed her in her thigh. she no longer wanted to play keeper. then we had 6 that didn’t want to come out of the game. YEAH!!

so to every parent that has coached/coaches rec…..you must have the patience of a saint because…i thought i was a pretty patience person but i can’t put myself through this again!! it is painful!! LOL! can’t do it!!

edit: please don’t get me wrong..i never once lost my patience with any of them and do everything i can think of to motivate them! they are a great bunch of little girls!!

Man have we all been there. The trick is – the kids DO get better.

Many of the wallflowers DO start to get into the game to a point, some become great players. A subsequent poster nailed it with this response:

The one good thing about rec ball is eventually that those players who appear to not to want to be there, well suddenly they do want to be there. Suddenly they are a force out on the field. Sometimes it takes years, sometimes it takes the first goal of the season.

Not every kid is going to suddenly love soccer and become a playing force, but it happens. Often. I’ve had kids who are somewhat ADD and watch the clouds so much, they contribute more sitting on the bench cheering. But suddenly the ball hits their feet, they look to the goal, and the RUN. Even if they don’t score, they suddenly realize – WOW – I can actually do this. My son was a dandelion picker in U6 just like most of the other kids, until that day he grabbed a ball on the wing and took off towards the goal. His shot hit the post but it didn’t matter. He was SO happy and he realized “hey, I can DO this!”

I’ve been coaching many of my current U10’s since U6 or U8 and it’s been amazing to watch them grow as players in a few short years. They went undefeated this fall after many average or losing seasons, but that’s not what makes me so proud of them. Instead it’s how they’ve worked so hard on their skills and maintain possession above all else. The shot placement will come. But to see kids who barely could dribble now shielding, passing, and faking out defenders is the reward that makes the difficulties of being a Rec coach seem like nothing. Seeing one of my players who used to squeak when the ball got near her now decide with a grunt that she’s been pushed off the ball for the LAST time by that boy on the other team – it’s great to see, even if she’s just there ‘to have fun’ and ‘get exercise’.

All too often some people look at the players and coaches in Rec as wannabes or people who aren’t as ‘good’ as those in higher level programs. They have no idea. It all starts in Rec and if we work to develop our Rec coaches as well as appreciate them more, people would be shocked at what showed up at the U10 travel team tryouts.