Twists & Turns Through Wins & Learns

As a coach sometimes you look back and some of the worst mistakes you make are bc u try to think too far ahead in the future… in today’s society we tend to look at your sports especially as a day-to-day stock market like investment, daily progress, measurable results, instantaneous progress with no time for “a process” … At times planning for the day to day, season to season, grind of it all allows you to not reflect on the journey… We as coaches and parents and players want to be “in control” and whether your plan is made months in advance or the day before it’s due, or you intentions are good or bad; or your planning is streamlined, efficient or half-assed and lazy… I’ve learned luck and chance are about as reliable as anything.

Sometimes if someone comes up to me and compliments the job I’ve done (or is critical) there’s not much feeling either way… numbness, individuals that only see one side or scenario…

“Yoy can’t let praise or criticism get to you. It’s a weakness to get caught up in either one.”
– John Wooden

Probably in complete sincerity the crazy thing about it all, at least in my experience… is that a lot of things that I feel I worked the hardest on… have turned out to be a disaster or train wreck in the moment… and a lot of things that people would credit me as being successful, or my most successful moments… happened by accident, or I got lucky.

This isnt a bad thing, it’s not sad… but after reflecting on a lot of its an interesting perspective.

The ironies of my coaching career:

I start to coach because park and Rec makes me…

I draft all boys (bc I am young and dumb and feel like coaching girls is lesser… no interest in that

I coach my second team because I have to again and don’t care who I get… I just take all the kids that don’t show up to Evals… including hope… who missed the evaluation.

hope doesn’t miss a game or practice with me for 8 seasons…

I start Academy because ironically bc they won’t let me coach anymore… (employee YMCA rule) I want to continue coaching hope cas etc, and feel like they have taken step backwards split up… we start something new (that almost unravels before it starts – bc of felicity (lied about age) ppl upset; Morgan Clark quits, comes back after talking to mom…

I move everyone to white co, because Dawson wants hope and morgan … (which I fear w/o make entire team pull apart and it would have) rachel stays with us after tough choices and I later find out years later was offered both her kids to play free … so stayed and paid to stick with me.

I recruit the twins to keep the LC team together for 11v11… not bc they are good but bc # players we need… on paper most talented roster I’ve ever had… total train wreck. hope goal total drops from 55 to 17 in same # of games, we have losing record,

Half team leaves, kenz/cas both very difficult for me bc they were players I’ve built around, both on bad/weird terms that we never discuss..
We end up getting a lot better by accident merging with dawson…

two teams that were falling apart, and both sides don’t want to join… end up form 1 team that is great.

The Dawson team isn’t able to win the big one…. 2nd place, lose 3 tourney finals… I feel Rachel feels hope is in wrong place bc we aren’t winning and she’s plateaued where she is, which she has but in afraid to come to reality of that, she plays her last game with me… losing in PKs. I’m upset I never win a trny w/ her)…

Rachel asks of ways she can get better I recommend going to Forsyth tryouts for the experience… to see where she stacks up, she’s hesitant. Hope practices with of the same day of tryouts, she doesn’t want to go… I go over to her house and convince her again why it would be good for her and she decides to go… and she does. She leaves for a great opportunity that I know is in her best interest, still hard for me on some levels to know that I pushed her in that direction, twice… Is it right for her? Me? My team? The program… hurts to have to wait and see…

When hope leaves I seriously question if want to coach… weird to be without Rachel, hope, Raini etc. more as fam then just goal scorers or losing a great player…which indirectly Causes Delaney to leave too because she feels like I could care less and she’s hurt by how I acted when Hope left…

Start season losing 2 closest players my coaching career relationship wise at the time… coach all players @ LCMS except 3, the three I starred it all for in the first place…

I’m motivated I’m angry but want to prove that we’re not just them and I’m not just them… finish 2nd in Athens and then win 2 in a row… (TN/ Ga Express..and finish 2nd in Dacula) Only UFA team at any branch to make finals in 4 Straight tourneys.

Easily most successful team record wise I’ve ever had… best coaching job I’ve done … I lose Liv, Morgan, Jalyn, Maileigh, Molly, Alexa, Katy. By far the most to leave me (katy and you Jay hardest, katy/liv right there … I keep going, take a new job, driving 2 hours to practice …

I leave ufa bc I have nothing to prove like wins wise (because I won and still lost everyone) …think Chris and NGA is perfect to go out how we came in…leaving/starting something new, maybe we have 1 season left? maybe more? I’ll stay til it’s over. No expectations…

On paper most inexperience roster I’ve had most of my skill players are playing two years up at U16. 3 players playing first season. I feel like we have one more season left that won’t be successful but I can go out in a club that’s trying to do the same things that I tried to do from day one at a college/hometown first team/ once in a lifetime opportunity for kids here that I would’ve dreamed of for LC lightning… quit obsessing over “the next season” enjoying what I feel could the last for my group.

At peace if it is, loved it all but can’t Imagine doing it all over again… wearing, team wins all but 1 regular season game… promoted (something that was not even realistic or on my radar to be honest)

The next season is my first In 14 seasons without “my team” (high school) which is bittersweet… I stay in denial all fall… take a break.

LSA DOC calls asks if I’m interested in jointing their staff which I appreciate but have no interest coaching random team just to coach… Chris calls and wants me to stay involved…. at the same and group I said I never would do again…

start all over again… U11. This time around feeling like I know less now than I did from day one 😂 Nervous to meet lot of kids/parents that I’ve got to prove myself to all over again.

First practice with team I laugh thinking how funny it would be if I walked up and introduced myself “hi I’m coach, Josh… and I’ll be your coach for the rest of your lives… but don’t. 😂 nice this time around to be able to tell them stories about “back then” and give examples of others, experiences etc to relate in same situations… instead of do this because I said so.

ref say at first game “your a lot calmer than you used to be” … which I laugh about because I know what I think i can control is out of my control… and it win lose or tie, things will probably end up fine…