A Year In Mill Valley

Coaching Soccer in Mill Valley

One of the things I’ve come to realize about community is that someone has to do the work. Someone needs to plant the flowers. Someone has to pick up the trash. Someone needs to schedule the concerts. And someone has to keep the kids programs running.

Like so many of these activities it’s the unsung volunteers who make great things happen, and here in Mill Valley it’s no exception. We have a wealth of talent, both parental and kid talent, and the youth sports activities are second to none. Nathaniel has played baseball the last two years — I was assistant coach the first year, and coach last year. Last year he played soccer for the first time, and for some reason I didn’t coach (though looking back I’m not quite sure why).

This year I have a 20 minute bike commute instead of my previous 1 hour car commute, and it’s relatively easy to get home for an afternoon practice. And so I volunteered to be an assistant soccer coach.

You have to understand, growing up in Connecticut and Massachusetts my sports were track, cross-country, ice-hockey and sailing, not baseball or soccer. Ok, I played one year of soccer, in 7th grade, but as neither of my parents played (or were particularly sporty except for tennis and sailing), I was completely clueless about how the game worked, until the last game of the season when I got a goal near the end of the game.

Therefore I hesitated for a second when Urban called and asked if I would step up and take over the coaching position (at the last minute the previous year’s coach couldn’t do it again). But I figured that at this age it’s mostly about getting the kids to understand about positions, about keeping the ball out of their goal, getting it down the field to the other end, and being aggressive enough to actually kick it into the other team’s goal — I mean how hard can it be? And so I said yes.

Another Dad, Greg Bernier, who just moved his family from Michigan, agreed to be assistant coach. The two of us went to the coaches meeting at the middle school at 11AM. There were about 200 other fathers and mothers there, and as I listened to the head of the organization talk about this year’s program, I looked around and realized what a gift it is to live here in Mill Valley where there are so many people willing to volunteer to make something amazing happen for their children. (I also realized how much I have to learn about soccer).

As I was scrolling through iPhoto looking for a photo to add to this entry I came across this photo from Nathaniel’s team last season. He had a great time, and a large part of that was due to his coaches Bong and Tom. So thanks Bong. And thanks Tom. Thanks again for giving Nathaniel one of the greatest gifts of all, your time.

No comments

No comments yet. Be the first.

Leave a reply

In an effort to control spam, please fill in the result of the equation below