One of my U12 teams
The won on Saturday
Weeks four and five have seen myself and the other UK coaches not have a day off, so we have been really busy. Coaching kids in the sun in California is nothing to complain about though! Week four saw us working Saturday and Sunday all day. The Saturday was as normal, coaching the under 5s and 6s. Patience was the key as normal. The kids all recognised me from the previous few weeks so that was a good feeling. The afternoon saw our planning of a competition come into action. We all organised a 'jugglemania' competition wherebye kids simply just see how many juggles or kick-ups they can achieve. We got the stall and area all set up and it looked really professional. Each team or kid that registered their name had 5 minutes of practice, with guidance from us coaches and then 3 attempts to get the highest amount of juggles. We had around 30 kids attempt this, ages ranged from seven to 12. The best score of the day was 30. for every player that got 10 or above they received a bronze certificate, 20 and above a silver and 30 and above a gold. Then after the kids
all went away, it was the turn of us coaches to attempt out own little battle, The standard was set by Richard, who got 379, I came in with a very average 179. Room for improvement. We didn't go out that night as we had to be up at 6 for Sunday Morning.
For the next two Sundays we were helping out at a soccer try out venue in a town called Martinez, this was around an hour from Redwood City, we were due to work from 8AM until 5PM. So a long one was in store. We had to assist and organise the whole day. We had three sets of age groups of boys and girls staggered throughout the day. It started with the under 10 boys and girls, then under 12s and finally under 14s. The toughest were the under 10s as the drills were pretty complicated for their age group, they were pretty complicated for us coaches!!! Each age group had two hours and four different drills to complete. One was a running drill to test stamina and flexibility, another was a shooting drill, another was a dribbling and passing and the final one was a
match situation where they got to express themselves fully on the techniques they have just shown to the evaluators. The evaluators were scattered throughout the venue, writing notes on the players they liked etc. Us coaches had to make sure the groups were in the right place at the right time and to demonstrate the drills to the groups. It was a pretty easy stuff but, a very long day as we had to do the same for each group every two hours. Very rewarding though as I knew there were kids that were so determined to make an impression on the evaluators.
The week itself was another week of coaching the same teams as previous weeks. The sessions were now beginning to develop that step further. That week I worked 32 hours, so a nice pay packet was due!!
Week five started exactly the same as the previous week, The young ones in the morning, jugglemania in the afternoon and helping at the try outs at Martinez on Sunday. Nothing major to report their. Other than the fact that it is going to be extra money for Vegas!
The week itself saw two of the five
Letting the kids kick up
UK coaches leave Redwood and head home, so we were down to 3 coaches and one car.
It was a hot week last week, it got upto 30 degrees, so my tan had developed even further, which i was happy about! My sessions midweek went to plan as normal, all really good sessions and teams to work with. A few of us coaches started to promote private coaching work for one on one sessions with kids as a means of extra money. I got my first session at a kids birthday party, the mum approached me and asked me whether I can take all the kids for an hour session as a birthday surprise. It didn't take me long to agree and so after one of my sessions she picked me up and took me to where the kids were and left me to it! "How much do you usually charge for private work" she asked. "I've never done it before" I replied "is 50 ok?" "erm.....yes" $50 for an hours work!!! petit filous Rodney!!!!
As I was walking towards a school to take one of my team sessions, I was mobbed by around 15 kids asking me whether
I was a famous footballer, I couldn't resist and said yes, I said I played for Crystal Palace, dont ask me why!!!! They were the first team that came to my head. They were in awe of me! They kept on bombarding me with questions like have you ever been on tele, again I said yeah every week. Then one of the kids got a piece of paper and asked for my autograph! I just started laughing, couldn't believe what was going on. I got my pen out of my bag and singed it, I even printed my name at the bottom so they knew who I was!! Then everyone else wanted an autograph, ofcourse I couldnt turn them down!! I eventually signed around 20! I was thinking this must be the most attention a Crystal Palace player has ever received. I didn't see the sky sports cameras anywhere though.
Over the course of the week my host family cooked great meals, The even came round to making the British national dish of Chicken Tikka massalla. The smell of the dish reminded me of home, lovely Indian cuisine!!
On the Friday evening I was invited to a high
school football game with the families babysitter, Meghan. She picked me up and off we went, The game wasn't that great, the best part was the cheerleaders as usual!!!! Meghan introduced me to a few of her friends, all I had to do was say anything and they loved the accent. All you have to do now, is say "Hello there and Harry Potter" After the game I racked up my 12th Burger of my adventure here.
I watched one of my U12 boys teams on Saturday for the first time, Their coach is really passionate about them, he never criticizes, always compliments. He was glad I was there to watch, The team went on to win their first game of the season, it was not only a great feeling for me to see my work pay off but to see a smile on his and the kids faces at the end. They all came over to us and thanked me and their coach.
So next week will be my final week coaching then its off on a road trip.
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