Onward to Upward


A few weeks ago I auditioned for the role of soccer coach. 

There was precious little competition, so I got the  part. 

My brilliant plan:

Step 1:  Ask my Omnipotent-in-all-things-soccer Freshman Boy to coach it with me.  And by “with” I mean “for.”  He knows this. 

He was stoked and thought my idea was sick.  (Both terms = positive) 

Step 2 of Brilliant CoachSoccer Plan was to see if the 12 year old novice (aka:  noob) soccer playing daughter would go for it.  She currently alternates between horror and clingy where we her parents are concerned.  Surprisingly, she was excited at this prospect.  Even when I told her that her older brother would be doing it with (for) me.   I think she thinks she’ll get more playing time.  Or less.  Who knows what she wants these days.

So off we go to our very first Upward Soccer  practice last week.  Sadly, it was rained out, but since the kids & parents (& coaches) were all BEYOND excited, we held a short meeting in the gym during our practice time.  It began with what Assistant (to the) Head Soccer Coach calls “The Awkward Circle.”

Him:  Every soccer team I’ve ever been a part of my WHOLE ENTIRE LIFE has had what I like to call “The Awkward Circle.” 

Me:   Did your coaches call it that?

Him:  No.  It’s a phrase I coined myself.  It’s the thing where you all get in a circle, pass the ball to each other and the Coach says, (in his best nerdy voice) ‘Now when someone passes you the ball, say your name and something about yourself…such as…your favorite ice cream flavor.’   (back to regular voice now)  We are SOOOO doing The Awkward Circle.   Also, Mom?  You do all the preaching.  I’ll do all the skills.  

(sidebar)  Upward is a sports program where sportsmanship is emphasized and self-esteem and character are built through team devotions, Bible verses and prayer during practice and game day.  That is the part my son was entrusting to me.  And attempting to weasel out of. 

He got very nervous as we drove up to the church gym.  As it turns out, the Awkward Circle was a hit and we got to meet each player on our team and their favorite team color.  We have six players and three of them are named…and I’m not kidding…Jayson, Kayson, and Graycn.  They are not related.  I bet God thinks this is funny.  

Our first real practice was last night.  Outside.  With a painted field, flags on sticks, cones, the works.  Oh and also?  My Assistant (to the) Head Coach?  had to play for his own high school team.  AT the same very exact time as our assigned practice.   Heavy sigh.  More laughter from God.

I was as nervous attempting to begin a structured practice for eager 4th-6th grade soccer players in their shiny new cleats & bumpy shin guard filled socks as he had been for our rained out Parent meeting.  Fortunately, and with yet MORE laughter from God I’m sure, our huddle verse was from Proverbs 2:6  “Only the Lord gives wisdom.  Knowledge and understanding come from Him.”  Which is classic, since I talked about how when we ask, God will give us everything we need to know, right when we need to know it. 

Turns out I know a few things about soccer after all.  Like how you have to throw the ball with two hands over your head and keep both feet on the ground.  And that you kick it with the side of your foot, not your toe.  And that players need to spread out from each other and get what the other legit coaches and I like to call “open.”  So with God’s help, I handled the first practice somewhat fine without the benefit of my Assistant (to the) Head Coach and we all  left knowing a little bit more about God & soccer.

Then the 12-year-old reminds me when we get back in the car.  “Mom.  You forgot to pray with the team.”

Oh well.  There’s always next week!  *


*unless, of course, Jesus comes back before next Monday!  (See previous post)


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