Tuesday, August 14, 2012

A Measure of Disorder by Alan Tucker Blog Tour Guest Post

How the soccer coaching began!

“Hey, you wanna help me out with something?”

How can such an innocent question, asked offhandedly by a friend, change the course of someone’s life?

My friend and temporary roommate at the time, played soccer in school and had volunteered to coach a boys recreational team where we lived at the time. He was headed off to practice and asked me the simple question above. I had nothing pressing going on at the time and had always liked the game as a kid, so I said, “Sure, why not?”

Little did I know that acceptance would open a door that led to joy, accomplishment, and respect for over twenty years.

I helped him out at his practices through that spring season and had so much fun working with those boys that I decided to sign up for my own team the following fall. Again, I had a blast and my new team of boys did very well. So well, in fact, we were asked to schedule some games in the club competitive league the next spring. I asked the parents and they unanimously agreed to give it a go.

The team performed well and we had a great time. Late in that season, we played a match against the top local club team. We didn’t have referees for those games, so the opposing coach graciously offered to referee and I gladly accepted, not feeling I had the experience to take on that job and try to run my substitutions etc. The match was hard fought, well played, and it was 1-1 entering the final minutes. Extremely happy for my boys, I kept checking my watch, thinking the game must be over soon. Minutes passed. One of the parents asked me how long we were to play. I shrugged and told them it should have been done according to my watch. Soon after, our opponents scored, and the coach/referee blew his whistle to end the game.

Stunned, my team and I went through the motions of shaking hands afterward and we sat and talked about what had happened. I could hardly believe it, but the evidence was clear: the coach had extended the game so his team could garner the victory. To this day, I have seen few worse exhibits of sportsmanship. I told the boys and their parents how proud I was of them and their efforts that day. I went home feeling betrayed and dismayed by that coach and even the game. How could someone do that with a group of nine and ten-year-old boys?

By the following autumn, I had started a new job and didn’t feel I’d have time to coach. One of the parents of my former team stopped in to my workplace and her face brightened when she saw me.

“Oh, Alan, I need your help,” she said. She proceeded to explain that tryouts for the club teams were starting and that they were going to have to cut several boys because there weren’t enough coaches. I still had a sour taste in my mouth from the previous experience, but I agreed to go watch the tryouts and see what I thought.

Seeing the boys out playing rekindled my enjoyment for the game, and I signed on to coach the third team of players that would have been cast aside by the other two coaches. Several of the players I’d worked with in the recreational league were selected for those first two teams.

My new team struggled through that fall season, losing several matches before finally getting a few positive results toward the end. The parents and the players remained upbeat for they could see the improvement in the team each game they played.

Spring rolled around again, and we were back with the same teams. My boys worked hard and built on the groundwork we’d laid the previous fall. No one touched us that season and we soundly defeated the other two teams as well, including the one coached by the man who had evidently needed lessons in telling time.

Since then, I’ve coached both boys and girls of ages ranging from six to sixteen and had great fun doing it. This year, I’ve decided to take a hiatus from soccer in order to concentrate more on one of my other passions: writing.

The game, however, will always be close to my heart, and I can never thank my friend enough for asking me to help him all those years ago.

Here are the links to purchase the book. It is free everywhere!
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B004SUOZHM
Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/a-measure-of-disorder-alan-tucker/1021181565?ean=2940000890691&itm=1&usri=a+measure+of+disorder
Apple: http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/a-measure-of-disorder/id371474877?mt=11
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/14010

Places to stalk Alan:
Facebook page (series): http://www.facebook.com/MotherEarthBookSeries
Facebook page (author): http://www.facebook.com/TuckerAuthor
Twitter: https://twitter.com/#!/TuckerAuthor
Series website: http://www.mother-earthseries.com

1 comment:

  1. Thanks so much for allowing me to share this post with you! I enjoy any chance I get to connect with readers : )