One of my coaching philosophies: There are many things I have learned over the years of coaching, reffing and playing soccer, and I am passing this one on to you today:
A soccer game is made up of 4 groups of people:
1) The Player
2) The Coach
3) The Ref, and
4) The Spectator.
You can only be one of these people.
If you are a parent who has not volunteered to Coach or Ref, then you are a Spectator.
Spectators enjoy watching the game, cheer on players, support the coaches.
If you are the Coach, you cannot ref the game, watch the game or play the game. A Coach gives the players the tools to play the game, and allows those players to play and make game decisions on the field. The Coach respects the referee’s calls on the field of play.
If you are a Player, you thank your parents for signing you up for soccer, thank the spectators who cheer you on, respect your coaches and the referee’s and their decisions and calls during the game.
If you are the Ref, you attend the game early and call a fair game.
Actually, some of these rules can pertain to other areas in life including school, work, other activities or sports. I gave this example to our oldest daughter who is in a drama/play: I said if she is an Actor, she cannot be The Director, Chorographer or Backstage Personnel. All four of these types of people have to come together, fit like four cogs in a wheel, to make the play work.
It’s the same thing for a soccer game; or can be applied to last night’s World Series final game. I did not witness the KC win over the Mets, I heard what happened: After the 8th inning the Mets’ pitcher “pleaded” to return for the 9th inning. This was the Mets downfall. Because the pitcher decided that he was going to be the “Coach”, and to tell the actual Coach what to do. The Spectators who were chanting the pitcher’s name, also became the Coach.
A great team, a winning team, somehow understands the four key elements to creating a team that wins. Communication is key, but when the Coach needs to coach and makes the decision to pull the player (or put in a player), the player(s) need to respect that decision; whether it is popular or unpopular. (See Super Bowl XLIX highlights)
The Mets lost because they had played like a team, until the beginning of the 9th, when the Player (the pitcher) and Spectators influenced the Coach to change his coaching decision.
We will never know what could have happened with Mets’ relief pitcher. But a great Coach will move on and hopefully will realize that it was the entire group effort that earned the loss.