South Dakota Junior Football
Gotta tell you. I missed it. Last night Molly the black lab and I were out for a walk. As many of you know I live over on the southeast side of Sioux Falls near Harmondon Park. (One of the nicest parks I've ever seen anywhere) While we were out for our walk I noticed a team getting ready for the upcoming season.
A few years ago, I helped coach a couple of football teams. At the time, they needed coaches. The first year a guy named Doug helped me and we muddled our way through the year.
I had been around the sport some. Played about 5 minutes during my highschool career and had watched plenty on Sunday so figured I was up to the task. Wow, was that ever a quick school in, 'what the hell did you think you were doing when you got into this?'
It's tough being a Jr. Football coach. It's a lot of time and a ton of work. It's just tough. It's tough getting playing time for kids. It's tough dealing with kids sometimes and it's even harder when you know your not hitting it off with a particular parent.
Our teams weren't really very good. We never made it to the dome for a playoff game, but we did have a pretty good time.
I miss filling the water jugs. I miss being the hot shot that knows how to put the pads in while making supper. I miss knowing how much you can weigh and not get a red stripe around your helmet. Oh, and I miss the games.
What's it like now that the games aren't at Riverdale Park? What's it like driving out to the new Sanford Football complex and playing on 'real fields?' What's it like having nice restrooms for the kids instead of a quick 'into the trees' stop.
Parents, it doesn't last long. Before you know it your kids are off doing something else!
I'll tell you this though. You never know. The pudgy kid that's wearing a ringer stripe could be the fastest kid on the team and end up being all state and play college football. Your kid you think is going to be awesome in High school might not go out his sophomore season.
I've seen it both ways. I've had a kid who looked like he was going to play later in life who didn't want to play later. I have another one who's playing college football at Northern.
You don't know. What you will find out, is that football coaches...are a lot like bosses that you'll have later in life. Some better than others.
I'll tell you this, I don't care how good, or bad they are...I applaud them for their time. I applaud them for their efforts. Ask them if there's any way you can help once in a while and in a quiet moment away from the crowd...one on one...find one little thing they did right with your kid at practice.
I kind of miss not loading up a mini van and headed to practice. Come to think of it, I might not miss it that much.
A guy named Sid helped us coach a team one year. Sid might have actually known something about football. He was famous for a line that still gets hollered around our house once in a while. 'Rest When You GET THERE!'
Enjoy the season parents. Enjoy this awesome time in yours and your kids life!