Tot Soccer RebellionPosted by Big Daddy Paul in Malcolm Stories
It finally happened. The three and four year olds at Malcolm’s tot soccer class staged a coup today and let their coach know, in no uncertain terms, that they would no longer be taking any instruction. I am no fan of Malcolm’s soccer coach, as many of you know, so I have never been more proud of a group of kids.
The day started with the coach setting up a field about the length of a regulation soccer field. A regulation soccer field to a 3 year old seems like about 2 miles long. The coach had them doing some silly drills, and by the time the kids got halfway down the field, they forgot, Memento style, what they were doing and started to wander off. This made the coach mad, and he started to yell. “Sahm, come back here, what are you doing. Maggie, where are you going? Malcolm take the cones out of your shorts!” Coach decided he needed a helper, and recruited an 80 year old grandmother to keep the kids in line. This pissed me off even more. I had previously offered to help the coach out, and when he actually needs help motivating the kids and keeping them in line he chooses a mumbling, unathletic grandma? At least I don’t mumble.
Coach eventually tired of the drill and decided the kids were ready to start playing a game. He separated them into teams and seemed irked that they didn’t grasp the team game, opting instead to chase the ball around regardless of who was on which team. He started to yell at the kids, “Don’t you guys know that you are teams and need to score goals?” The kids stopped and looked at him like his head was made of peanut butter. When they resumed their game of chase, the coach got even madder, threatening to cut the session off early. This made all the parents laugh, because the kids then gathered together, on the opposite side of the field as the coach, and seemed to be plotting a coup. When the meeting didn’t break, coach lost it. He continued to yell at the kids, “I need you guys to swear that you are going to start playing soccer for real or not just run around and kick the ball. If you can’t I am gonna make you sit down and do nothing.” At this point, the kids started the mutiny and half of them sat down. He told the kids to stand up, and when they didn’t, he told the rest of the kids to sit down too. The rest of the parents laughed as the coach fell apart and the kids started to wander off, not sure of whether they should be sitting or standing, playing soccer or running around kicking the ball.
Afterwards, I offered the coach some insights into the mind of a three year old. Coach didn’t seem too interested in my ideas for improving the practices, instead complaining that the “kids just don’t listen to me!” Dude, welcome to my world.