Early mornings, late nights, double sessions and diaper changes! Pre-season with a three month old was a heck of a lot easier than pre-season with a 14 month old! I definitely took for granted the fact that at this time last year my wife was home with our new born child. Sure there were sleepless nights and late night feedings, but at 6am the alarm clock rang and shortly thereafter I was out the door. Not so much these days! My wife is now back to working three shifts a week as a nurse and on those days it’s dad who has drop offs and pick-ups. Let’s just say my mornings aren’t as easy as they used to be.
At 5:30am the alarm starts to ring and after hitting the snooze button once or twice I’m finally out of bed. Then it’s into the shower, shave, get dressed and ready to go for the day. 6:30am down stairs to brew some coffee, let the dog out, feed the dog, and feed myself. 7am back upstairs to wake up Jr., change his diaper, bathe him, dress, him, then back downstairs, feed the baby, pack him up and hit the road. Wait! Not so fast! Jr. needs another diaper change! 8am stop at Dunkin Donuts (I swear I can’t drive by one of these without stopping!) for the second cup of the day. 8:30am drop the boy off at the sitter. 8:45am finally made it to the office, drop off my bag, turn on the computer and head out to the field to set up the first session of the day! 10:00am the field is set and the boys are ready to go.
The wild card in this wonderful morning is if my son gets up before I’m even remotely close to being ready. In this case all bets are off; anything can happen and usually does. While I’m trying to get ready this kid will literally find everything in the house that he isn’t supposed to have. I thought we had baby proofed, but people forget to inform you that when your baby grows you need to re-proof. FYI if anyone needs tips on baby proofing a house, I’ll drop my son off for an hour. He will without a doubt find everything and anything that needs to be tied down, moved, capped, locked or thrown away! Long gone are the days when he just ate and slept.
On Wednesday we faced our first test of the season. We welcomed the University of Rhode Island to Hamden for a preseason friendly. I think we were all anxious to get out there and compete against someone other than ourselves in order to get a more realistic gauge of where we currently stand. The boys did very well. We defeated URI 6-1 and received goals from five different players. Of course any time you score that many goals there must have been things you did well, but there were also some areas of concern that we need to focus our attention on this coming week.
To this point we were yet to have a day off. On Thursday morning we had our scheduled recovery session with the strength coach. At the conclusion of the session I entered the locker room to inform the boys that they have earned the right to have the rest of the day off. An impromptu celebration immediately erupted complete with dancing and singing. I think it’s safe to say they were happy with the news! Unfortunately for my staff and me a day off for the boys does not equal a day off for us. We spent the rest of the day breaking down film and finding all the things we did wrong in Wednesdays match. There were also some things we did well. But a coach is never satisfied.
During the next four months I will be a Coach, Teacher, Father, Husband, Friend, Mentor, Psychologist, Recruiter, Evaluator, Secretary, Paper Pusher, Travel Coordinator, and Equipment Manager. As a college coach finding balance is extremely important, but it isn’t easy. I will be the first to tell you that for me finding that balance has been a challenge, but the birth of my son has defiantly changed my priorities. While I’m still not great at it, I’m practicing what I preach; I’m working hard to get better.