"Do you want me to tick this box about helping to coach?" my wife shouted from the kitchen.
She was putting an enquiry through for my son, Tyler, to join Bishops Cleeve Colts u7s.
"Ok", I bellowed back, figuring I could help out if needed. I've played a fair bit of football and coach fitness for a living and even coached children in sports like Water Polo and Badminton as a teenager.
I figured I could help and the more I thought about it the more excited I became...
Coach Reality Check and a Big Decision
That confidence was soon squashed when I watched Adam, Head Coach of the u7's squad expertly direct the boys through a series of skills and games. The more I watched the more I thought he must be paid by the club to take teams in that particular age group.
As the weeks progressed it became obvious that the group was growing and that Adam wasn't employed, he was just a dad who started coaching because no one else would.
The squad grew quickly It wasn't long before Adam mentioned he didn't really want the group to get any bigger. He mentioned there was another parent keen to coach and that maybe we should split off to form another team.
The Coaching Team
Adam assured us he could teach us to put the goals up and provide session plans to follow if we needed them. Clint, the other parent who'd ticked the box and I got on well and we brought Frank in to help as a bit of an assistant.
Frank quickly took over the admin roles of collecting session fees and providing the final decision about some things like practice cancellations when Clint and I couldn't agree.
Ongoing Player Inquiries
The squad steadily grew from six to eight to 12 and it wasn't long before we had to discuss what our cut off point was going to be.
I have always dreamed of having so many people wanting to get fit through sport so the thought of turning people away didn't sit well with me. I was also aware that attendances would likely drop through Winter but that without eight or more children there'd be no point having 3 parents to coach.
I pushed for a limit of 18, Clint for 16 and Frank finally swayed to a final cut off of 18.
Clint Leaving for Tewkesbury
On the morning of yet another freezing practice Clint messaged Frank and I to say his son had been asked to play for Tewkesbury, just down the road from their home.
His son liked the idea of playing with school mates and Clint expressed a desire to just watch his son develop as a parent so would move to Tewkesbury FC.
New Coaches and More Players
On seeing Clint's leaving message to the parents, Matt, one of the lad's dad's offered to step in and help.
We also asked Andy to come and help as a Goal Keeper Coach, since he plays in goal for his team.
It was extremely helpful having two new coaches as we were still getting good attendance through Winter and I had to take a step back while my Mother in Law was in the final stages of terminal cancer.
We continued to get new inquiries and finally cut the maximum squad at players.