My neighbours son is quite intelligent for a 7 year old, I also do some tutoring for him, where we work through school work for the year above him, to advance his knowledge.
When I arrived at the fields, one cold grey Saturday morning, I was excited to see how the rest of his team were. The stories he tells me of their games, scores and situations seemed like they were quite good at working together.
He can read the game very well, he is thinking ahead and getting into position, however his other team mates and opposition are still at the stage of following the ball like a flock of sheep.
Using a small whiteboard I try to show them where they all need to stand on the field by dividing the field into 6 sections instructing them to stay around that area, spread out and pass the ball.
I reached the complete opposite, now they are unwilling to move at all in fear of moving from their section. After further explaining I tell them they can move around just as along as they go back to their designated area.
Well the penny dropped, goals scored and a 8-1 score line in our favour left me pretty pleased with my efforts.
The next week however, practice was about passing in triangles, to the open player etc, they got preoccupied with this new style of play that we scored only 2 goals.
They all got confused with difference between passing and shooting – when attacking on goal they would pass but not shoot to try and score not realising that there is a difference.
A quick Year 2 physics lesson told them that power in a shot from a certain distance nearly always resulted in a goal. This changed them around, a 6-2 was the final score.
In life as in coaching I have found that there are constant hurdles, after teaching the kids one thing, they need to learn another, just as in life when you start just after you finish a project, it can seem you are never getting on top.
God is always there to help you, guide you and be your coach as you flock around on the soccer pitch called life.
Christopher Archibald lives in Sydney and is an under-graduate student.
Christopher Archibald's previous articles may be viewed at www.pressserviceinternational.org/christopher-archibald.html