Yesterday, Emma played the last game of her soccer season for the TAA "Green Machine." She thoroughly enjoyed her first year of soccer, and I enjoyed coaching her and her friends. I still say anyone must be qualified to coach soccer if I can, but it was still a great time.
Emma has begun to understand how to move to the ball and how to use her size against smaller, quicker players. She has gotten a lot better at being able run around for the whole game without losing interest or getting tired. She has been one of the first to volunteer to play when other kids don't want to.
I'm very proud of all that she learned and I wish we had her play soccer before this fall. It was a far better experience for her than the T-Ball experience two years ago! The last game was not a win, but the trophy helped the sting of the loss. Thanks to Coach Dave and Coach Jim for really doing the real work of coaching this year.
John's fall baseball season ended a while back, the last games a casualty of the freak pre-Halloween snowstorm that hit the Mid-Atlantic. His War Eagles squad really came together this fall, winning the last 5 games of the season. He is a big boy who is still growing into his long legs and big frame. He's got a lot of potential and determination, but his progress this fall was incremental rather than spectacular.
John loves playing baseball and is a darn good pitcher, but his footspeed limits what he can do in the field. His bat began to come around this fall after some coaching that found a problem with his swing. Tryouts for the spring War Eagles teams were held last weekend and he did well, and he is on pins and needles waiting to see if he made the team.
For me, this fall season probably brings to close my 6 years of youth coaching. The fall has been a struggle for me to balance coaching duties, work schedules and getting the kids where they need to be every day. As John has moved up the baseball ladder, my ability to help the teams he is on has been smaller and smaller. While Emma and I enjoyed me helping her soccer team this year, there are plenty of folks who can do what I did for the team.
Sometimes something has to give when you are a single dad, and I have known this moment was coming for some time. Coaching my kids has given me some of the happiest moments of my life. Seeing them grow and succeed, have fun with their friends and learn some hard lessons has been an absolute privilege. Thankfully, there are lots of good coaches in baseball program to be able to help my son develop. I'm still not sure how good a soccer coach I was, so I am sure someone (anyone) can fill those shoes!
I'll still be at the games, and some of the practices, but I'll be in the stands with the other dads and moms, taking my pictures, grumbling about the coaches and enjoying every minute of it!