Saturday, December 19, 2009

So Close

It was pretty close yesterday at my girl's soccer game. For the first time all season, we made it to the half without the other team scoring at all. The girl's were stoked, bright-eyed and exhuberant during the halftime break.

They told me this looked like the end for my beard ... (remember, I'm not shaving 'til they win).
The whistle blew, they ran back onto the pitch and the other team scored almost immediately, which took some of the wind out of their sails.

At that point, I was glad I had held my tongue during the half when I was trying to fire them up. I had considered telling them, "The team that makes the first goal in this second half will win the game."

As it turned out, I was right, We lost, 0 to 3,
It was our best game all season however, since we have received multiple clobberings.

Another first, I had my first parent of a player drama when a Dad complained about the lack of playing time for his daughter. This happens in varsity sports, of course. I'd love to play every kid every time, but in such a close game, we could not get to about a couple of our 19.

The complainer went away unhappy after our "discussion".

It's funny. When I took on this soccer coach role, I had so many teachers and coaches tell me, "Oh you poor soul, prepare for drama, coaching a girl's team is one crisis after another!"

My experience has been exactly the opposite. The ladies are ... well, ... ladies. They get along, they support each other, they are respectful to me and my two parent volunteer coaches.
Essentially, they are a class act. They are disappointed when they lose, as they should be, but that game immediately becomes an event in the past and they don't carry that burden forward.
They beam when we praise them, listen when we teach them, and try harder when we criticize them.

It's like having 19 daughters.

So ... anyhoooo, enough of that. The other close call I wanted to share is illustrated in the picture below.

At Payne's Prairie, this blue heron came stalking out of the tall bushes behind him and wandered dangerously close to a large, almost hidden alligator. I watched him for awhile, even shot some video, thinking I might catch the gator in an ambush strike.
Alas, the heron stared at the "log" for awhile as if pondering the possibilities, and then he moved off away from the gator.
So, no dramatic gator chomping a blue heron video ... sorry, maybe next time.

On the same day, this pretty little blue was stalking a narrow opening in th e emergent plants.

A gallinule was nibbling and flitting about nearby. There are so many gators in this stretch of water near the Alachua Sinks that it must be a risky place to be a plump, juicy, water chicken.
These pics were taken about a month ago. Between soccer, school, and lots of grey weather lately, I haven't got OUT THERE much, but Christmas break has arrived ... finally!
Something is bound to happen.


Pablo said...

I respect and admire the coaching work you're doing, knowing I could never do it. It sounds like you're making a difference for these young ladies, which is really what's it's all about in the end, I think.

I hope you have a nice holiday break. I'm taking off all of next week because my offspring are in town (at various times), and I'm going to enjoy every minute of it.

(If you did post some video of gator chomping, I wonder I could get myself to watch it.)

lisa said...

I would be admiring that beard of yours because it may not be long and it will be history;) Hopefully the girls when next time. It is nice to know a coach that is into the game for the game and not just for the winning! I think some coaches forget that games are ment for fun along with winning.

Anonymous said...

Hi FC,

The only gator chomping I can look at is on the in football field! Don't think I could watch the real deal.

You must be so proud of all your daughters!


Deb said...

If that parent only spent one game in your shoes he/she might realize the world does not revolve around him/her. A friend of ours was recently fired from his job as basketball coach because one very influential parent didn't think his kid was playing enough. Sheesh, some people...anyway, you're doing a great job with those young ladies.

I am so jealous of the diversity of your water birds around there! And I'm jealous of your Christmas break. Have fun!

cinbad122 said...

We just might have to take a hike out there next week! :)

Caroline said...

You like to think that parents are doing the best they can for their kids, but sometimes their own egos, or childhood frustrations seem to cloud their judgment and send their maturity right out the window.

We were as ready for Christmas break to begin as our 9th graders were...

I get to do Christmas Bird Count tomorrow, looking forward to the solitude of walking 4 miles of creek bank in the snow, with no human voices, no lunch duty. Just the birds and the creek.

Miz S said...

Glad you're getting some down time. I'm looking forward to your reports.

My school district's break doesn't start until the end of the day on December 23rd. BUT. The 20 inches of snow we have gotten since last night just might give us a couple of days off.

Aunty Belle said...

Yore soccer lasses is a lucky bunch to have such a wise coach.

Hope your time off is marvelous!

Anonymous said...


Kimberlee said...

Aaaaah! Christmas break...never a moment too soon! Hope Santa brings you the gold medal you deserve, FC! (and I don't mean flour!) :)