Coaching, Refereeing, Volunteering
I have had the privilege of working with Cascade Youth for the last 6 years as a soccer coach and have been a part of the Cascade Soccer Board for a couple years now. It has been a wonderful experience to stay active in a sport I dearly loved to play in high-school and college. Watching the kids grow and learn has been as rewarding for me as I hope it has been for them. They struggled with technique, tackled endurance work, and most importantly, for those coachable youths, kept a great attitude. That (attitude) is an important thing we can help to instill in our children. How we tackle adversity, deal with problems, and overcome obstacles, shows everyone a great deal about our character.
I've seen a great deal of growth in my local athletes this year; some very young, and some now heading in to high school. I feel like time is flying by; and with another soccer season wrapped up and a tournament on the way I'm excited to watch my teams finish well, but bummed another season will be finished. That being said, I will NOT be missing the mowing and painting that's needed to keep our 3 fields in game/practice shape. Big shout out to Brad, who made life easy this year while maintaining fields and the whole Cascade Soccer Board for their continued support of our local Cascade kids athletics.
I did get to experience a new first this year in the soccer realm. Make-up games happen, and I was able to referee my first match of 3rd and 4th graders. It was an odd thing to be on the other side of the sideline, amidst the action, as opposed to watching it from the outside. The kids and volunteer coaches were great, our local athletes gave it their all, and the home team won 5-0. Pretty good experience all around.
All this being said, it is tournament time. I know we're all passionate about our kids and their endeavors; BUT, let not try to put one child's (our own) happiness or success above another's. It's great to want to win, but it should not be the most important thing for younger skill levels. In addition, parents (and coaches, cause we all get excited) need to show the kids they are also coaching how to respect other adults (the refs) and the decisions they make (even if it was super wrong and that was a terrible call, we get it, no one is perfect...). And, for a guy who is usually on the coaching side but just "reffed," I can see where an already tough job could be made miserable by ONE upset person. Keep it safe. Keep it classy. And I'll see you at the soccer fields! Oh and one more thing, I KNOW lots of local kids who need other awesome adults to volunteer, even if you know nothing about the sport; get involved! There are always things you can do to help.