Don’t be that mother.
Don’t be that coach.
Just shut up, sit down and enjoy the off-season. Read that book you brought along. Text your friends. Dig up a quarter for a jawbreaker.
Yes, I know you want Adam to shoot the stinkin’ ball RIGHT NOW, but he’s looking for someone to pass it to. And I know it’s your instinct to shout, “SHOOT IT!” because during soccer season, you’re his coach, and the coach of most of the kids out there on the indoor soccer field this afternoon. But it’s not your season. Heck, it’s not even theirs.
It’s the “winter training season,” something you never had as a kid, because back in the day, winter was basketball season, not soccer season. In fact, you didn’t even play indoor soccer until college, when you had to get up at 6 a.m. and trudge through the Boston snow with your teammate and friend, Liane, as she mumbled in her southern accent about “f-ing cold” and “missing Atlanta” all the way to practice, because that’s the only time the women’s soccer team could get the gym.
But these days, 10-year-olds have winter training once a week with a young trainer from Great Britain who has more knowledge about soccer in his pinkie than you have in your entire middle-aged American body. So sit down and shut up. If you have to yell, direct it toward the Fox Soccer Channel on the TV in the parents’ waiting area behind the glass, because the ref just issued a yellow card to an Argentinian who’s shrugging as if to say, “Whaaa? I didn’t do anything.”
You’ve got enough in-season things to worry about: The impending snow that threatens to ruin your morning with a delayed opening at school. The four-month battle against whatever eats mittens and gloves in your house. The Cub Scouts Blue & Gold celebration, where you’re cooking hot dogs for a crowded gym full of a few hundred hyper, happy children.
Let it go.
Because before you know it, you’ll be wearing cleats on a muddy soccer field 45 minutes from home, shouting “SHOOT IT!” You’ll be digging up shin guards and water bottles for the kids who forgot theirs, and you’ll be explaining to other parents why the other team wasn’t offsides on that last play, no matter how much they’re screaming about it at the referree. You’ll be pacing the sidelines, and you’ll wish you’d brought a heavier jacket and towels, because you’re soaked from the rain that started right after half-time, and so are the kids you have to drive home. And then you’ll wonder why the winter went so fast.
Besides, Adam just scored a goal.