I am not the Special One

We lost 3-1 this weekend. It wasn’t that close.

I wanted that win. I really wanted that win. I yelled a lot.


It was hot. I didn’t have any subs. The kids were tired and playing garbage soccer. After the game my wife told me that I was really loud—like you could hear me clearly on the other side of the field loud. I have a well-developed coach’s voice from years on a pool deck having to project over splashing water, crowds and terrible acoustics.

I wanted that win.

The kids didn’t care. They just wanted to have fun, play soccer, and if the won cool, but they weren’t going to think about it much after the game. They certainly didn’t write about it.

I, however, was annoyed the rest of the day into Sunday.

I’m still annoyed.

I wanted that win.

I’ve been coaching since I was 17. I’m a decent coach, but I’m not the Special One. I need to remind myself of that.

One of the hardest things, as I’ve gotten older and the athletes I’m coaching have gotten younger, is to remind myself to not let my own competitiveness get the better of me. I can’t play the game for them. These are middle schoolers—not college kids that were recruited to be there—and my soccer career ended in the 6th grade because I was terrible.

This weekend, in our final game, I will yell less. I will cheer more. I will keep my mouth shut when we have the ball, and I will let them play the game.

I will also play a 2-2-1.

Fall is here. Winter is coming. And I am stoked.


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