Youth Coaching Chronicles: Tale of Two Games

“Was that your top team?” I asked the opposing coach. “Yes”, he replied. We had just gone toe to toe with the top team in an another club with four of our key players missing. I was proud. My girls had fought hard, and got the result that we deserved.

After the match, the opposing coach and I were talking and I mentioned that the same group of girls, that just took on his top team, were going to be playing again. He looked at me with a bit of shock, and I could see it in his eyes that he was worried about the next game. We played well, and we would surely out play his lower level team as well.

I have never been a fan of multiple games on any given day. It’s not healthy, it’s not fair, and it makes for a bad experience all around. However, I don’t make the schedule…though this year I couldn’t do any worse than what’s been done, but that’s another topic for another day. Since I was missing four players, everyone was playing both games. Unfortunately for us, both games were back to back, and by the second game my girls were tanked.

It wasn’t even close. The only thing my girls had going for them was their shape, and that was mainly because they were too tired to move. The other team dribbled around, very little passing or shape, and would take shots. To their credit, they out played us and beat us pretty bad. The same team that went toe to toe with their top team.

Ultimately it was a tale of two games. The first game, or as I like to call it, “the fresh game”, my girls were ready and focused. They played like they knew how and we were clearly the better team. The second game, though tired, they never gave up completely. Sure they weren’t as fast or aggressive, but they never conceded the game was completely over. I would love to have played both games with subs, but during spring break and guest playing in tournaments, you play the cards your dealt.

The message to the girls after the second game was clear and concise; learn to function while tired. I say this to my daughters all the time, because as you get older life doesn’t care if you’re tired. Dig deep and find the motivation to keep on going, because there will be times when you’re so tired that all you will want to do is fall over and close your eyes. It’s in those times that you will do your greatest work. Life doesn’t care, learn to function while tired.

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