A poem by Mike Berticelli
The Youth Soccer Coach
By Mike Berticelli
You donate your time for the good of our youth, Soccer is different, not like baseball at all.
But you scream and you yell and are often uncouth. We don't need positions, just give them the ball.
The ref is just twelve and still learning the game, They first must learn skill, it's the meat of the game.
But you call him a jerk and say he's not sane. If they can't dribble or shoot, then who should we blame?
The parents are screaming and follow your lead, Skill must be learned through repeated trials.
As you sprint up the sideline at uncontrollable speed. If motivation is present, you will see them run miles.
You jump as you yell, "Pass, pass the ball!" Fun games are the answer to encourage repetition.
You turn red as you bellow, Ref, make the damn call!" They laugh and they scream and enjoy competition.
"You're the left back now, get in your position, Withou the skill to dribble past an oppoonent at will,
If you don't, we might lose and ruin our tradition!" Your players will win, but their growth will stand still.
Positions are needed so we look like a team, I dream of the day when the parents just cheer
Cause they're miniature pros, or so it does seem. And losing the game doesn't bring out a tear.
The fullback is bored, he picks at his nose, When practice is fun, not dull and so boring,
While the others run wild and kick with their toes. And playing the game means more than just scoring.
You scream for a goal, no matter how it goes in, I know you mean well and you donate your time,
The skill doesn't matter, just as long as we win! But bury your ego and try something sublime.
The parents go crazy as the ball nears the goal, Call all the parents and ask for their aid,
Their advice and instructions will soon take their toll. You're teaching their kids and not getting paid.
You see, Junior feels pressure, he's not having much fun, Your goal's to develop a youngster with skill,
We tell him to pass, when to shoot and to run. Not a team that must win or some fancy new drill!
He came here to play and to use his own mind, You see, players are not judged by their wins and their losses,
Cause soccer's the most creative game that you'll find. Instead they are judged by their shots, heads and crosses!
Imagination is needed on the part of each child, Scholarships are given to players with great names,
Solving problems on the field is what makes them go wild. Not those on youth teams who never lost games.
A week of long practice, while just standing in line, A pro player gets paid 'cause his skills are real fine,
Waiting to shoot, using one ball at a time. Not because his team never lost when he was just nine.
This just doesn't cut it, and for some it's too late. It's time to bring soccer to new heights in this nation,
Make your practices fun, don't be the coach that they hate. The future's in players, not a coaching citation.
They come to "play" soccer, not to "work" at the game, Let's start to say "dribble" and stop yelling "pass!"
Their excitement is something we don't want to tame. You'll then see our players go to the head of the class.
Maradona has moves that are beyond comprehension, I hope you're concerned, but not really offended,
No coach taught those moves while threatening detention! It's the need for more skill that I have defended.
He learned from his friends and tried copying others, You're giving your all, from the good of the heart,
While playing in games, without coaches or mothers. Why not make sure the kids get the right start?