Friday, June 25, 2010

Coaching As Therapy

I am the assistant coach a gang of under thirteen year old kids playing soccer. I got into coaching two years ago, for my own son's (Rudi) under seven age group team, primarily because coaches were in short supply, and Tim (the head coach of that age group) was desperate for some decent help.

This year however, Rudi decided on baseball, and Marlo (Director of Tavistock Soccer) suggested I wasn't under any obligation to help out, but I could if I chose to. I told him that I would love to, but as I had no kids involved, I wouldn't mind moving to an older age group, which is how I ended up with the group I have.

Last night we headed out to play Thorndale, knowing that a large part of our contingent was headed of to the 'JUMP' program at Wilfrid Laurier, and would not be able to play. A few minutes before the start, we had eight plus a goalie, leaving us two players short. Brad (Head Coach) didn't want to concede the game, and had a brief talk with the other coach, telling him that we would simply play shorthanded, but not to give us any quarter, essentially.

We scrambled for another player from Tavistock, and found Clayton, the younger brother of one of our own players, who happily joined us from his under 11 team. So there we were, eight of ours and a goalie, plus a player from the next age group down, still one man short. I had already been making notes of who to play in what position, and Brad asked me if I was ready to run the game... I had never done so before this game, but was up for a bit of 'trial by fire' so to speak, and began assigning positions and getting our crew on the field.

At the end of the first half Thorndale was up three to two, but in the second period we tied, and then with five minutes to go in the game Mike scored again to bring us ahead by one, four to three, which we held til the end.

There isn't much to compare with that special feeling of pride I got when my crew won the game: The smiles from them as they came off the field. They knew they did a great job, and I let them know it.

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Fallacy of the Term 'Accident'

There is really little need for the word 'accident' in common use of the english language, as by definition, an accident is something that has little chance of ever happening. Drownings, automobile collisions, aircraft and boat crashes generally have an apparant or deliberate cause, and cannot be considered accidental in nature. I rememeber being questioned by the defense attorney in a trial and recall illustrating the difference between the two:

DEFENSE: So Mr. Chiles, you indicated earlier that you had actually pressed 9-1-1 on your cell phone just moments before the accident occurred?

WITNESS: Ummm, what accident?

DEFENSE: The accident between the tan coloured SUV and the blue minivan...

WITNESS: Accident? There wasn't any accident.

DEFENSE: What do you mean there wasn't any accident? You spent the last two hours testifiying about the circumstances leading up to the accident between Mr. Doherty's minivan and my clients SUV...

WITNESS: Oh yes... Well that wasn't an accident at all, it was a collision.

"An accident is a specific, unidentifiable, unexpected, unusual and unintended external action which occurs in a particular time and place, with no apparent and deliberate cause but with marked effects." (From Wikipedia)

Don't piss me off by talking about "car accidents", because they virtually do not exist. If two cars collide, it is simply that, an automobile collision, as they virtually always have at least an apparent, if not deliberate cause.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

An Interesting Link

I don't know how I came across this site, but it is worth visiting for the brutal eye opening that awaits. It is nothing more than a compilation of links and stories about all the fatal and near fatal collisions that occur in Canada, in addition to comments posted by readers. What makes it effective is that there are dozens and dozens of items posted each week. Although the raw numbers of individuals killed every year in Canada has been on a steady decline over the last few decades, there are still roughly 5000 lives ended each year in completely avoidable collisions.