Week one of my fall season is complete. We started out the week playing in 95 degree heat and ended this Saturday playing on a beautiful fall day with cloudy cool temps. The forty degree swing aside, it was an eventful week and one I am still trying to absorb. Our team came out of the week with a 1-2 record but our team play improved as the week went on. I began to bound with the girls a little bit more but I still feel like an outsider looking in. More of my coaching life from Virginia is seeping back into the foreground of my brain and slowly I am finding my coach’s voice.
Our first game we played in horrible 95 degree heat plus humidity. Our game went into a double overtime and ended with a clutch corner kick chested into the goal as the ref was counting down the final 7 seconds before we would go to a penalty kick finish. It was not our best game but we played hard for 100 minutes in horrible conditions with an incredible finish.
Our second game we played a team of comparable talent but we made some formation changes in the first half that confused the team which allowed their strikers too much space just outside of the box. We made adjustments during halftime and came back into the game dominating the possession. Unfortunately none of our attempts on their goal found the back of the net.
Our third game was a heartbreaker. This team is actually in our league and it matter for our placement in the private school state tournament. (I am still learning the private school league rules and procedures. It is very different from public.) We played extremely well against a very tough team but a team would could beat. Our striker was nursing a tweaked hamstring and pulled it during the warmup. After 5 minutes of game play she pulled herself out. 20 minutes into the first half our goalie went up for beautiful block and caught her pinky finger on the bar pulling it back. I knew she hurt herself but she simply asked for ice during the half and quickly put her glove back on. I should have known better that this tough young woman would play the rest of the game with a broken hand. One of our wings had a player step on her foot and she ended up being pulled by myself and the trainer as a potential break. We are waiting to hear on her status. Without staying more, you can imagine the other team was able to capitalize on this but we held them to 1-0 final score.
The excitement of the games aside and the fun on the soccer field. I am pretty upset that we have had so many injuries and a couple of them were avoidable with better communication with the players. On a personal note I have had days that I have been able to run five miles before practice and then play soccer with a bunch of teenagers. I have had other days were I have made it home to kiss the girls on their sleeping heads and prepare for my lecture the next day. My artwork and personal workouts have been put on the back burner and I miss my girls desperately. I am able to see PP after I get home from my morning classes before I head out to soccer. She is in a 3 day, half day preschool schedule. LP and I are passing in the night. She is getting off the bus as I am driving up to coach. This week we only have one game and I have a better plan for my workouts and my artwork. I need to make sure I don’t loose site of this big goal with the new job. This is a critical stage which is going to require focus and balance. It will also require great communication with my family and high quality family time.