I can see clearly

I have been slacking with my blog posts.  My oldest son suffered a concussion September 29 and has been recovering.  During that time, more anything, I have just wanted him to start feeling better.  Today, he has gone the longest without any effects of the concussion.  I am so very thankful that he is showing improvement.  It has been very frustrating because so many people have been expecting him to recover faster.  And I know that he has been frustrated with some of the restrictions placed on him due to the concussion.  If he continues to make improvements, those restrictions will be lifted.

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Class Wrap Up

(Disclaimer: I sometimes use this blog for my Social Media class that I am taking through Columbia College.  This post satisfies an assignment.)

At the beginning of the course, my understanding of social media and business was very limited.  I understood businesses used some platforms like Facebook or Twitter, but didn’t know that others had set up their own where customers could comment on products or services.  I also didn’t know there was so much resistance to adapt social media by businesses or that many didn’t know how to adapt it.  Several business sites that I go to seem to have several links to what seems like a multitude of different platforms where someone can “like” or “follow” that company.

Going forward, once my business is more established, I plan on using Facebook as my primary social media platform.  I have several contacts in the local community through Facebook and it would be a good place to set up my brand.  Since it would be new, there would need to be a lot of information and Twitter is not formatted for large posts.  I may continue to blog.  I have slacked off a bit the past week or so due to a son’s injury that has required attention.  I can continue to post some of my observations and express my personality.  I am still not confident enough to post to YouTube.  I have that nagging voice in my head that I am not doing it right and since I am without a mentor, it’s hard to quiet that voice.  Another issue is equipment.  I just used my phone for the branding video assignment.  Nothing fancy.  It was functional.  It worked for the class.  Don’t know if I would really want to put that out there to represent my brand.  The other thing is that I have a vague notion of what it is I want to do.  When that becomes more concrete, I can then focus on some other social media platforms.  If I decide that I want to coach professionally (in the sense that I get paid versus volunteer) for a club, school, or team, then I will start cleaning up my LinkedIn page.  I should probably do the same even if all I am doing is coaching individuals or groups.  That way I don’t look like a creeper.

I do know that I am not looking to leave my current employment (I have seen how much coaches get paid).  Soccer coaching is more than a hobby though.  I am serious about it.  So I do want to present a professional image.  And I knew that I would need to incorporate some form of social media into that presentation.  This class has helped me focus on the platforms that will allow me to get my message out and avoid the platforms that I don’t like and won’t help.  Because one of the biggest lessons throughout this course has been be true to yourself.

Journey

Not the band, but the act of getting somewhere.  The team I coach is currently in a tournament.  Today we play for the championship.  All of the hard work comes to this.  Yesterday we won our games but there were signs of cracks.  Hopefully we can get those corrected because we have to play the team in first place.  If  we win that game, and take care business in the second game, the boys win their group in the tournament.  I have to admit I am a little nervous.

Pride

There are times when I wonder if the work I am putting in with the kids is helping.  This past weekend’s results certainly didn’t help quiet the whispers of doubt  My oldest son came home this earlier this week and let me know that he is now his high school’s starting JV goalkeeper.  He was a little upset over it because it meant that he was no longer going to play on the field for varsity.  I told him that he needed to view it as an opportunity to show his ability as a keeper and that he could step up when called upon.  I also told him that it wasn’t the end of him playing varsity this year either.  So last night he made his first start.  And he got the shut out.  Then, in the varsity game, my oldest son also got to see some time in goal.  I was approached by the father of one of the boys that I coached this past spring.  He wanted to let me know that his son really appreciated me working with him.

That was nice to hear because the kids I am coaching right now aren’t ready for their tournament coming up this weekend.  I have one more practice to get them out of their funk.  We seem to be going backwards instead of forwards as far as mechanics and technique.  They need to snap out of it if the team is to do well this weekend.

Concentration

This week’s practices have been interesting.  We have been trying to put last weekend’s performances behind us while still keeping enough to learn from.  And the main thing to come away with this week is that 11 year olds have problems concentrating.  Practice was filled with mistakes.  Most of my sessions were filled with drills where the keepers had to make a decision before making a save instead of just running them through drills working on technique.  The boys made a lot of mental mistakes through out the week.  It took a lot of cajoling to get them to complete some of the drills.  Part of it is that I have two very different keepers with extremely different sets of abilities.  So the drills have to work both of them and sometimes, one keeper has an easier time than the other.  We are working on getting ready for another tournament in a week with league games tomorrow.  So the focus is a little over the horizon.  But the mental sharpness needs to pick up.  I think they can do it.  I know they can do it.  They just need to know they can do it.

Best Laid Plans

Tournament in the Woods The tournament started well.  But the boys did not respond to pressure very well.  Without criticizing too much, they took themselves out of each game when the other team scored.  A couple of games, we even had the lead.  And all you want is your keeper to make a couple of big saves to finish out the game.  But the keepers were asked to do more than that.  Unfortunately, the better team won each and every game.  It hurts to write that as a coach because you want your team to be better.  The team is showing improvement, but there is still plenty of work to be done.  Definitely know what needs to be done.  I hope the boys had a good time overall.  Tournaments should be fun.  And the team did have some chances to hang out and bond together in between games which is important.  And very few fingers were being pointed after the games as well.  I just wish results would have been a little bit different.