Along with a number of other teams, I currently coach my youngest son’s U5 Rec team. Sponsored by Sheetz, their name is the Lil’ Sheetz – you gotta love it. Anyway – we’re playing a match that is pretty even this past weekend and both teams are scoring plenty of goals and having fun. I think I had three kids total (it was a cold morning and I had a few sick). So coach was happy. Then towards the end of the match, one of the players ‘dribbled’ towards the end line and stopped, unsure what to do now that he hadn’t ended up in front of the goal. So he put his foot on the ball and did a pull back, turning around and dribbling away. I went nuts cheering, as did the parents. The players on the field are like ‘huh?’ And for the last five minutes of the match, no matter where they were when they got the ball, they all tried to pull it back and turn. The other team wasn’t really sure what was going on, but a few of them decided to join in as well. Both coaches were hooting and hollering every time they did one. I’m not sure another goal got scored in those five minutes, but what an awesome feeling to watch kids that age so something other than chase and shoot. Can’t say it was anything magical the other coach and I may have done in practice. We certainly have the kids do pull backs as part of other activities, but it’s not like they’re a central focus. Yet as a coach I couldn’t help but walk away from that match extremely proud of the kids on both teams, and the parents who recognized what they were doing and cheered them on even if they weren’t scoring.

Good stuff!