soccer coaches are stupid

I want to yell at my son’s soccer coach.

Here’s the thing about Rex. He’s the funniest, quirkiest little four-year-old you’ve ever met. When it comes to being a stay-at-home mom, the kid hasn’t given me a moment of in-house grief since we conquered the toilet. He’d happily stay home and play with toys for the rest of his days, living on a steady diet of apples and peanut butter sandwiches.

But Rex has anxiety. Not everything gives him anxiety, just random, unpredictable things. He loves theme parks, preschool, and Walmart. And when it came time to sign his brother up for soccer, all he wanted was to be a soccer player, like Harrison. So what did we do? We signed him up.

Let’s just say that the fall half of the season (it’s divided into fall and spring games) was what I like to call a total and colossal disaster. He loved to wear his uniform and kick the ball in the backyard, but when it came to game time, you’ve never seen such intense field fright in your life.

I’m sure the other parents thought we were forcing him to attend, since he’s sit huddled on my lap refusing to even look at the field or coach for each and every game. If I didn’t know me and the situation, I’d think I was a beast for making him go.

But he wanted to go! Every Saturday, he’d don his uniform, grab his soccer ball, and run out the door all cheerful like. Then we’d get to the field and he’d completely lose all his courage. We made (forced, really) him stay for every game, and by the end of the season I had managed to get him to cheer for his team. Hey, baby steps, right?

So last Saturday the spring half of the season started. We got the schedule the week before from Harrison’s coach, but after waiting and waiting never heard from Rex’s. Finally, Jason emailed and called him on Saturday morning, trying to find out if and where the game was.

I will tell you that Rex had spent two days in his soccer uniform, asking when we could go to his soccer game.

Finally, Saturday night, the coach got back to us. He “forgot” to email us/call us/send a homing pigeon with the game information. Hey, he’s got five players on his team, that’s sooo much to remember.

And I am ticked. We’re talking, ready to rip his head off for excluding my boy. I don’t care if he sat on the sidelines for all the games, I don’t care if he freaks out when he sees a soccer net, we paid the same money that everyone else paid and gosh darnit, how dare he make assumptions and leave Rex out?

I am not particularly good at bridling my emotions these days, and I’ll admit that I regularly verbally fillet him in my brain while I vacuum, do dishes, scrub toilets, and fold clothing. I’ve let him have it so many times, in so many ways, that I don’t even know what I would say to his face now.

Should I say anything? Perhaps just slashing his tires would get my point across most clearly.


  1. I vote for keying his car.

  2. Make a joke. Go up to the coach all angry like and say, “I can’t believe you forgot to email us with the game info. The team can’t possibly play without my amazing kid who won’t step foot on the field.” Punch in him the shoulder as hard as you can and laugh. Call him a sissy if he rubs it.

    I’m in a jerky mood, sorry.

  3. Oh man Annie, I would be PISSED! That is absolutely ridiculous, and I’m sorry Rex is having a hard time getting out onto the field, but you’re trying and he’ll get there and the coach needs to be punched in the neck.

  4. I say that deserves a roundhouse kick to the head–Chuck Norris style. What a jerkface for doing that to your son.

  5. As a mother of a regularly “forgotten” autistic son, I know all the great little zingers you are mulling over in your mind. But before you “confront” him about his “excluding” of Rex – TAKE A DEEP BREATH. It seems the coach assumed that since it was so obviously painful for Rex, that he wasn’t going to play. Whoops! You know what happens when you ASSUME… And he made one of himself!

    Smile & brush it off, go to every game, & be the loudest cheerleader out there! Not that that will be a challenge… 8^]]]

  6. Bring cookies (the good kind) to the game for everybody else. When the coach asks where HIS is, be sure to tell him that you ‘forgot’ that he was going to be there and didn’t end up getting one for him because of it.

    Or you could write a blog about how…oh wait, you did.

  7. Hate to say it, but you gotta let this one go, if for no other reason than saying something will just make you look like the hormonally insane mother.

    However, this certainly doesn’t mean that you have to ingratiate yourself to the guy, nor do you even have to explain Rex’s anxiety to him if you don’t feel like it. Just smile at the end of every game, tell him you’ll see him at practice or whatever, and walk away.

    It’ll pass. All of it.

  8. Call me sometime and I’ll tell you about the time Kelsi was ‘kicked’ out of dance class. Boy I nailed that teacher to the wall! (In my head, you know. I hear ya on this one!)

    So sorry for your darling little Rexy. Just take him to any soccer game played by little tikes his age and sit on the sideline with him in your lap so he can cheer. Do you think he’ll buy it?

  9. Oh, but after reading all of your comments, I really like Brandy’s comment. I am not cool enough to pull off something like that, but you just might be. And if you’re not, is Jason?

  10. annie valentine says:

    All sage advice. I think by Saturday I’ll be able to taper down to a few well placed glares.

  11. You know the first thing I thought when I read this was, “I really hope her soccer coach doesn’t read her blog.” Haha. Love you! See you soon!

  12. I’m so sorry! And vaguely intrigued as to how a verbal fillet would look…

    Also, with your whole professional hair thing, if it helps, I know a very impressive hair-dresser that does not charge as much as she’s worth. Dave Ramsey may even approve of her. Although, I realize most people have their “own” hair stylist, this is for just in case. Let me know:)

  13. Um, I think you got it right in the title. Some people are just stupid. I have no advice for you, the older I get, the more stupid people I meet. You have my sympathy though, if that helps.

  14. Glares just doesn’t cut it. I mean, just look at all the crabby people there are in the world nowadays! How would anyone know if a glare meant something or not? lol! (Not that you’re a crabby person in general.) I vote for a quiet discussion with the coach and how you’d really appreciate him working with you and encouraging your son to play. I mean… really? You’d be doing a disservice to your son if he didn’t see that it’s important to stick things out. Just my opinion…

  15. I like Brandy’s way. I am too much like you Annie I would of picked up the phone and gave him an earful and then regretted it the whole week. Continue to go cheer for the team and do what you have been doing for Rex he will eventually come around just support your child and let the coach wonder. The coach does not need to know why Rex will not play it is really none of his business. If he did not ask during first half of season. Why would he not of approached you and asked what he could do to help Rex feel more comfortable or to make him want to play. That would really irritate me. He sees you there every game and Rex’s fear so why not see what he could do to help. He is clueless.

  16. I found this site because I am in the middle of doing some research. I am a Youth Soccer Coach by profession. I coached in the UK for several years, and now I work with a program in North Carolina that has around 1300 kids participating. Perhaps I can shed a different light on this matter.

    Firstly, I want to say that I am really sorry to hear that you have had such a upsetting situation.

    I don’t know if the coach not contacting you was a genuine mistake, or not. It seems you are certain it was not a mistake, and that is why you are upset. How can you be certain? Both volunteers and professionals make mistakes. Mistake or not, you need to responsibly take this up with the coach, and the club.

    I am guessing you are [like me] in the USA by the spelling on this site. The USA has more soccer coaches than any country in the world. They also have the lowest proportion of trained soccer coaches. This is something that urgently needs to be addressed. This is what I am working to change.

    The approach of the US Soccer Federation is that it strongly recommends all youth coaches to be pro-active in dialogue with player families, and to have a clear coaching philosophy. Neither of these appear to have been done.

    Whichever club your son plays for, they should be able to provide the guidance that this coach needs. If they are unable to do so, then US Soccer can help. (Feel free to email me if you wish). If you are sure it was not a mistake, then explain that to the club. That sort of action should not be tolerated.

    I am starting a site up called There is nothing there yet as I am still writing the content. I’d love to hear your thoughts and those of your readers on what should be included. All comments welcome.

    Lastly I just wanted to reassure you that we are trying. Hopefully in a few years there will be a lot more professionalism in Youth Soccer Coaching, and whilst that will benefit all of us… it’s greatest effect will be letting more kids play.