Rants & Essays

Musical Coaching

By Marcus Pan

I have this thing where I can't throw out any type of music without first listening to it at least one more time. So lately I've been playing old mix tapes from 10+ years ago. A few of them end up going back on the shelf because they're that good, but somewhere in the range of dozens end up in the trash after I play them one last time. Which got me to thinking just how much over the past decade or so my tastes have changed. Music, being a major part of my life as most everyone's that would actually read this on LiveJournal who are friends of mine, is no exception to this change in taste.

But there are other things too. Last Friday night I had the chance to go to a party. Ten years ago I would have been there without a doubt. But in this part of my life, I first had to get through practice with my Dragons soccer team. And by the time that was done (a 3-0 scrimmage win for us by the way) it was around 8PM and I decided to stay home and work on other things and just be home. Amazing how your tastes change.

But that's ok. Spending time being something of a mentor for two dozen girls is a lot more important to me now than it would have been a decade ago. Something tells me that's not a bad thing. Something tells me that while going to parties is fun, there's a whole lot more fun to be had in knowing that there are two dozen girls spending time with me rather than spending that time in a park drinking a six pack at 13 years old like I was doing at their age. Maybe if I would have known I could be playing soccer, although I was never quite that good at it, I would have been doing that instead of getting into fights down in Eliz'bet' Port.

I see a lot of coaches sometimes that can look out on a field and go, "She's a forward, she's a defender, she's a goalie." Is it strange that when I look out on a field I go, "She likes to sing in her spare time and once had a punk band and her name is Kristina. Her name is Morissa, and her Dad passed away in a car crash and she lives with her aunt and uncle. Her name is Sophia – her Dad died from drugs and she's an excellent dancer and is going to be a fashion designer some day." And it occurs to me that maybe I'm not a great coach as far as soccer alone goes.

I was questioning myself yesterday following some rough shut-outs the Dragons endured in yesterday's Midlands Tournament at Fourt Dix. Considering I have some really small kids – and considering that we are rated as an Under13 team because of having one 13 year old girl on the team – we ended up facing off against Hamilton and Allentown's Under14 division when we went. We were definitely the smallest and youngest team in the division, and after yesterday I was wondering if I had fucked up a bit bringing my kids out to play there.

They proved me wrong today though, shutting down the next two teams, also twice their size and years older, and never giving up another goal the full day. No score, making both games a 0-0 tie against us. We didn't finish in the top tier in this tournament, but my girls certainly gave me more heart and more guts than they have to date. Regardless of the fact that we're a younger age and much smaller team, the entire coaching staff that we played this weekend requested we come back again, because we certainly brought the competitive level they wanted. It certainly was fun watching some of my 11 (and nearly 11) year old girls tackle down girls twice their size, 14 years old.

But damn it if I aren't a decent guy for these girls to be spending time with, as coach or not.

How this rambled from music to coaching I don't know. But it did. Maybe I'm drunk.

Probably.

Is that so bad?

Originally from two MagMan LiveJournal entries dated June 24, 2003 and November 23, 2003.