Enter the fool.
A very short conversation ensued in which I pleaded with
Moscarro to find somebody else, but I found out it's entirely
possible for a grown-up to take a 5-year-old's words as a binding
contract that not even the Supreme Court of the United States could
render unconstitutional. Nate was instructed to not use my name or
likeness in public ever again.
So in the following week I read The Horse Whisperer, outlined a
practice schedule with drills, created name tags, started seeing my
therapist regularly and called 19 parents for the first practice.
You read that right; I was to coach 19 Padawans.
Although I do have experience coaching soccer, I was still
apprehensive because I was never taught how to properly kick the
ball while swinging an imaginary light saber, sticking my tongue
out at a girl I liked and blatantly coughing on my teammates at the
same time. Remarkably, this was easier than I thought; I only had
to teach the kicking part because most of them had the latter items
It turned out I had plenty of help from another dad at the
practices. I even received help from the players; all six of the
group called the "nose pickers" (by their teammates) taught the
others very quickly never to touch the ball with their hands. By
the end of the second practice, I began to feel confident that we
were prepared enough to turn the kids loose for their first
On the night before the game, that confident feeling went out
the window when my wife received the DVD of Nate's disastrous
kindergarten play from another mom who created a copy for her. In
it the kids who had lines forgot them, a kid dressed as a flower
performed improv and the grand finale occurred when the kids
dressed up as trees were fighting for space in front of the kids
dressed like rabbits and squirrels.
Could the soccer game end like this? Needless to say, I was up
Before the game, the kids looked great in their bright yellow
jerseys. During the game all eight players crowded the ball and
tried to steal it from one another. It was like watching the sun
roll around a soccer field. The other team's players stood and
watched. The highlight of the game was when my goalkeeper ran off
the field holding his hand over his backside yelling, "I gotta go
poo-poo!" It was the save of the game.
By the way, we won. Nate is now allowed to talk about me again,
but only if he refers to me as "Coach of the Year."
Bryan Missey is an IT expert who has the ability to explain in
great detail the inner workings of the latest technological marvel.
The Oak Lawn dad likes to write about his three children, but if
you asked him to explain their thought processes, you would most
likely hear crickets.
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