I'm not much of a soccer coach.
And I don't say that because, on my inaugural game coaching soccer, my team of five-year olds got walloped by another team of five year olds.
It's just that I find it hard NOT to scream at the top of my lungs as my team pokes each other with freshly picked boogers and yammer about Transformers while the other team executes a perfect give-and-go, wing sprint, center and score.
Jesus. How do other five year olds learn this stuff?
My guys, if they're lucky, know how to kick the ball, stop the ball and turn the ball around. Their guys could juggle the ball on their heads, chest trap a 40-yard throw-in and shove off outside foot passes to strategically placed, open players. Open players are easy to come by, since my team hangs together in clumps kicking one another in the shins until the ball inevitably squirts out of the scrim.
In this league the coaches can't be on the field during play - so I was relegated to barking - then pleading instructions to an ever wearier group of kids. At one point my wife touched my should and whispered: try to stay positive.
I came home hoarse and humbled. And sunburned.
My son executing a PERFECT slide tackle that resulted in a clean ball extraction AND sent the opposing player reeling (but not falling on his face).
A corner kick placement worthy of Beckham from a boy named Mustafa who also has a great pre-game battle cry.
Six little hands in a circle as six little voices growl "rrrrrrrrrrreeeEEED KNIIIIIIIIGHTS!"
Four goals. Three from Tyler, a kid who can run the full length of the junior field like an antelope.
I look forward to handing the reigns back to the real coach tonight.