Just when I thought the trunk of my car was gonna be clean & clear of kid stuff until early April, I have replaced the feeders & halters for chairs & soccer gear! I went from showring mom to soccer mom in a matter of days…but that’s ok ’cause the Danger Twins love their PYSL soccer teams!

The kids are on great teams this year, with my son even being coached by an old school mate of mine- Bill Bertolucci (Sonomarin Landscape-head down there for all your landscaping needs) shameless plug! As I sit back and watch some of the games I have come to realize that the Danger Twins positive experience in soccer, like in 4-H, has a lot to do with their coach /club-project leader! A good leader in 4-H helps, encourages and empowers the kids to “Make the Better Best” all the while learning life skills without even knowing it.¬† A good coach is much like a 4-H leader, helping the kids to learn the game, encouraging them to work hard and empowering them to reach their soccer goals. A good leader or coach does not put emphasis on the win or the trophy but rather the journey of learning and having fun. I have had both those exceptional leaders/coaches who I credit today for leaving a positive imprint in my life, but there have also been a few of those who were, shall we say, not well suited to be a coach. But it’s what is learned from the negative that makes the positive so much more sweeter!

Healthy competition is a good thing, but when a coach takes it further by heckling the opposing coach in front of the kids, yelling at a child or a parent questioning a judge in a rude manor it cuts to the very core of the kids development and most of all fun for the activity. Hey, I’m not saying I’m Mother Teresa out there at the soccer games or livestock shows, but I do keep myself in check. And for the record….it’s oh so very hard to do at times when a coach is acting like a two year old!¬† Hence my experience the last two nights at soccer! The only thing I can say, that’s p.c. or clean, is….“Hey Boy’s it’s Rec League!” And really this ain’t about records, it’s about the kids! So let’s have some fun!!!! If you need an example of great coaches in action under pressure it would be those coaches of the Petaluma National Little League team during the Little League World Series. They never once were disrespectful, but rather respectful of the kids, opposing teams and parents! Brava and thank you for setting a great example on the world stage.

In those last two nights at soccer the kids played, not just awesome but, “ROCK STAR AWESOME” (thanks DT) soccer! Miss B’s game was great, both teams played hard and showed heart and consideration for one another. And if you were ever on an U14 girls team you know that’s pretty amazing! Mr B’s team was a nail bitter, non stop action to the very end! Great job kids, you inspire us parents and make us proud!

Sportsmanship is something that is universal….not just in sports, showing livestock but in life. We learn those lessons from our parents, coaches and experiences through out our lives. Hmmm, how very Yoda of me! But it’s true.

I look forward to many more exciting games with my ” PYSL soccer family” and cheering¬† for the Danger Twins & their teams (Quakes & No Names).

Today’s “Mad Shout Out” goes to those coaches & leaders out there who are making a positive difference in young lives and those parents sitting on the sidelines cheering till their voices are gone.