On winning and having fun
October 8, 2012 Leave a comment
It’s been a great run as a coach of my son David’s U13 Rec soccer game. This weekend we won two games in convincing fashion to go to 5-2 on the season with 4 straight wins. Three seasons ago I coached a team that went winless– 7 losses, 1 tie. Now this is recreational level soccer and the whole point is to have fun. But I have to say, winning is simply a lot more fun. The kids have a better time, the parents have a better time, and I have a better time. It’s not like a 70 minute soccer game you lose is wasted or something you regret, but there’s little doubt that that 70 minutes is significantly more fun when you win. I actually wish it wasn’t that way, but it is.
To that end, I make sure all my players play a good chunk of the game. (League rules are everybody plays minimum 50%– I generally try and aim for at least 60% for everybody. It’s usually more than that due to missing players). But I play my best players more of the game– sometimes 100% for my best player or two. The way I see it, the kids playing less are giving some of what would be their completely equitable playing time to our best players to enhance our odds of winning. I’d like to think that the average player would be happy enough playing 45 minutes instead of 50 if that 5 minutes gave one of our top goal scorers an extra 5 minutes during which he scored a goal and we won. Am I wrong? Hope not, because I don’t plan on changing.