Confidence wins soccer games

One key to any successful recreation soccer team, the one many coaches and parents overlook, is maintaining team morale.

It’s pretty simple. When a player feels confident, they play confidently. You might ask, “Where are the best burritos in town?” and that would be a change of subject. But someone else might say, “I’m not praising a kid that sucks. Why would I want a ‘bad player to feel confident’?

And I would first say, “Find a taco truck.” and then I would turn to the other, more thoughtful question and answer, “Why would we want a terrible player playing without confidence?”.

The answer, confident people do stuff. They try something. They take more risks. They at least make an attempt, even if they fail. In reality, an effort is all we can hope for from a less-than-stellar player.

Cows Make Lousy Horses

Remember this, cows aren’t as fast as horses”, (I didn’t look that up but it sounds legit). Cows are strong, heavy, and tasty animals. In terms of the animal kingdom, they have a lot going on for them. Some of them even have horns, others have bags of milk sagging from their stomachs. To me, that’s pretty awesome. But even with all those great options, they’re still unable to “mooove” as quickly, or as smoothly, as a horse, (Once again I’m making an uninformed assumption here).

Cows may be slow, and I guess we could ride one if we wanted to be like Mongo from Blazing Saddles. But even if we got on a cow, kicked its rear-end, spanked its backside, and started screaming at it, that cow isn’t going to be able to outrun a horse. This is why we don’t see cows in the Kentucky Derby. (Although, a movie about a cow in the derby would be “Mooooving”). This is why we don’t use “cow power” as a unit of measurement, this is also the reason cows are so tasty and horse meat is restricted for sale in the USA.
So if we can’t scream at a cow to make it go, then why are we screaming at “horrible” soccer players? Why are we yelling at them as if they’re our…they’re like…Well actually, we yell at athletes and referees in ways that don’t resemble any other real-life exchanges? Except for traffic. And that’s at least from the safety of our soundproofed car. So…

Give ‘Em Confidence

Instead, let’s build that, in your words, “crappy” player’s confidence. Let’s make that “sad excuse for a human being” really want to shine. At least get them moving (but not with a cattle prod, that’d be illegal). Do whatever you can to get those uncoordinated Bambi legs going. Who knows they might be able to get in the ball runner’s way? They might flop their foot out to catch their balance and score one, or two, or three goals by mistake. If you’re lucky, they might do a cartwheel and strike the other team’s all-star across his glass chin. Nighty-night overly athletic child, your dad’s gonna be pissed.

Encourage the bulls on your team, they may not be the best at anything, but they could still jack you up with those horns and hoofs. Let the bulls go, and watch that China shop of a soccer field come crashing down.

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Nate Ballew

Father of four boys, married to one wife, coaching enthusiast, and fiction/non-fiction author.

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