Friday, April 27, 2007

At least I don't have a fat ass

This is my fourteenth season to coach boys soccer, and it's been a difficult one. The coaches in our soccer association decided to play against other teams in the Austin area (I voted against it because I didn't want to travel), and because we did so well last season, we were placed in the hardest bracket for our age group (U12). Unfortunately, the people making that decision didn't take into account that I lost almost half of my team to other sports, and I had several new players this season with much less soccer experience.

And the season hasn't gone well. So far, we haven't won a game. We played well in a few of the games, but in the others we didn't play well at all. Sometimes it seemed like we were back in U5 when all the kids just ran to the ball, not worrying about positions or passing. Herd ball.

(And just so I don't just pick on the kids, part of the problem was me trying to figure out where to play some of the kids. It took me several games to decide where everybody should be playing.)

In practice, it's hard to work on aggressiveness and playing positions because we only have half of a field to practice on. The other half of the field is used by a U14 girls team. So last week, I asked the other team's coach if they would like to scrimmage against us. That way, we could play on the whole field, and we could work on playing positions.

And it helped. In our game last weekend, we played much better. We still lost, but other than a few defensive lapses in the first half we outplayed the other team. In fact, we didn't allow them to score the entire second half of the game.

So at practice last night, we scrimmaged the girls again. As noted earlier, they're bigger than my boys are, and they foul a lot, but we don't call most of them because I want the boys to learn to deal with bigger opponents.

One of the smaller boys on my team was playing midfield, and he was battling with a couple of bigger girls for the ball, and he was getting fouled and knocked down a lot. Usually, this is very quiet and polite boy. However, he'd had enough fouling and told the girl, "Stop pushing!"

To which the girl replied, "Maybe you shouldn't be so small."

There was a pause, and then the boy retorted, "At least I don't have a fat ass."

No, not the nicest thing to say, especially to a self-conscious teen-age girl, but in all fairness, she did start it. And it wasn't the worst thing to happen in the scrimmage. A couple of my players had to leave early, so I ended up playing defense. I tried to clear it up the field with a good, hard kick and ended up hitting one of the girls in the face with the soccer ball. We decided then that it was a good time to end the scrimmage for the day.

Friday, April 06, 2007

My breath is Aqua Net fresh

At work, I sometimes have early morning meetings. Usually, these are conference calls with my coworkers in India, and I'm just in my office by myself. On some mornings I'm running a little later than normal. Instead of rushing to get cleaned up and driving through traffic, I just head into work right out of bed. (Well, first I change out of my Spiderman pajamas.) After I'm done with the meeting, I just use the showers we have at the office.

That's how my morning started yesterday. The meeting was over quickly, and I headed to the bathroom that has the showers. The showers are in separate room from the bathroom, behind a badge-access door, because you're supposed to pay the monthly fee for the fitness center in order to have access to the showers. The shower room has several showers, some lockers, shampoo and soap dispensers in the showers, washcloths, towels, and a counter with a hair spray dispenser, a mouthwash dispenser (with little cups), shaving cream, and disposable razors.

However, there isn't a sink in that room. If you want to shave or brush your teeth, you have to take the shaving cream or mouthwash into the main bathroom where all the sinks are. It seems like a poor design to me.

But I digress.

After showering and getting dressed, I took a cup of mouthwash to the sink area with my toothbrush and toothpaste. I brushed, rinsed, and was gargling the mint-flavored mouthwash. I'm not sure how it got into the mouthwash, but I also detected the slight aftertaste of hair spray.

For those that don't know, hair spray is not a taste you can get rid of by drinking a huge glass of water. I'm sure alcohol will work, but since we don't have a scotch machine at the office (and I don't drink), a Coke did the trick.