This is the end.
In sports, nothing smacks you in the face as hard as the end of the season. After enduring the trials and tribulations of a Spring season in the
Northeast, you go into the summer full of optimism, eagerly awaiting preseason in August. Preseason starts and it’s a perfect world. You’ve got your whole team together, training twice a day, no classes, just soccer.
And for two weeks everyone is undefeated. Then the games start coming fast and furious. You’ve barely recovered from one game and you are playing the next. Every night you are looking at game tape trying to get an edge for the next game. Looking for adjustments that could make a difference. Working on new set plays that the opposition haven’t seen. Getting players back healthy who have been out injured. And then…THE END. It’s over.
Next day you don’t have practice, you have no teams to scout, there is no incentive to watch game tape. You went from being the busiest person in the world to sitting around wondering what to do with your time. You look around at things in your home that are different and your wife tells you that the house was painted back in August, you got a new dog in September and your son is now shaving. Where was I when all this was going on? It’s kind of like Austin Powers waking up after being frozen for 20 years. It’s very groovy baby!
Before I knew it a week had passed and the mourning period for the 2011 season was over. Then my phone beeps with a calendar reminder: Sunday, 12 noon, NEC Final
Damn you iPhone and your silly reminders.
Even more than the games, you miss just going to practice every day and the banter with the players and staff. Most players will tell you that this is the hardest thing to replace when their careers are over. My solution is to fill the candy jar in my office so the players will come and visit me for a chat (and eat candy). I’m going to miss our two seniors (Brit and Cip).
They are both wonderful people and I am proud to say that I was their coach. The planning has already begun for next year. The car is stocked with hand warmers, winter coats, Gore-Tex pants and wooly hats, as I get ready to hit the recruiting trail again. Next year is going to be better. I can feel it.
A New Beginning!