I have a wife, 5 kids, a full time job, still take one seminary class a quarter in pursuit of my ever elusive MDIV, and like everyone I know, also have an endless list of other things to do. Yet, despite these facts, every summer/fall I add 6 or 7 hours a week of soccer practice for 2 separate teams and coach 2 games every Saturday between Labor Day and Thanksgiving too.
- I LOVE SOCCER: so, coaching it is fun. I love teaching and sharing this piece of my passion with kids and watching them "get it" and enjoy the game is good times. I love putting my foot on the ball, even if it's just coaching a new move.
- IT'S QUALITY, NEVER-GONNA-BE-ABLE-TO-DO-AGAIN, TIME WITH MY KIDS: I've coached TJ since he was 8 and this is his last year with me cuz next year, I'll coach Tyler and Jake. I'm going to miss coaching him because coaching my kids has been some of my best parenting moments. We've laughed and cried. We've talked about talent, comparison, conflict, endurance, the value of winning, lessons from losing, how to improve, and so much more. I could have had those conversations lots of ways, but not with near the ease or near the teachable moments.
- I'VE HAD SOME BAD COACHING EXPERIENCES: Without sharing details, there are some people I don't want coaching my kids and since AYSO can place my kid with whoever they want and is limited in resources to whoever volunteers to help, sometimes the coaching experience was less than desirable for my kids. Most coaches are great, but rather than complain about those who aren't, I decided to shut up and help and try and be a solution to my own problem.
- IT GETS ME OUT OF MY CHURCH: My world can be consumed by people that act like me or act a certain way around me or whatever because of my role as a pastor. This gets me out of the "christian world" and into the "real world" and lets me interact with people where their is nothing they presume about me. I just get to coach soccer, help their kid, and try and bless their family. I just try and be a great coach and encourage them with every opportunity I get. That's refreshing and in the end, a great testimony to the gospel and the way of Jesus anyway.
- IT SAVES ME TIME AND HEADACHES: Yep, believe it or not, it saves me time. We have 5 kids in soccer and that means 5 practice times. You KNOW that someone will need to be on one end of town when someone else needs to be across town at the same time if we just left it to chance. And, as a dual coach, I get to pick when and where we practice around my schedule and our games on Saturdays for at least 2 of the kids are guaranteed to not conflict. Also, our kids are young enough that we don't just drop them off and leave. We have to stay and watch. So, if I have to be there, I might as well be coaching. So, in the end, coaching the teams saves our family time and gives us the easiest way to manage our season.