WHAT PEOPLE SAY
2020 Anonymous Dad
I can’t believe I’m writing this to you, because I’m not normally this vulnerable with others, but I have to.
You, another coach, and the Club are the home I’ve been looking for for my son from across two states and 5 years. In addition to the great discussions you and I have had, and the wonderful chat I had with my son last night, two things happened this week that are worth sharing, both of which caused me to literally tear up.
First, at training on Tuesday, when you added goalies to the 4v2 game, a wonderful thing happened. My son was playing goalie, and his teammates had won the ball back while on defense. My son came running off the line to help on offense, but then his team lost it again. He started to run back to the end line, but teammates started telling him to stay. Then, others told him to go back.
And then it happened: you said nothing. You were completely quiet. You did not stop the game and discuss rules. You just watched. What ensued was the 6 boys, together, figuring out for themselves in a heartbeat what the rule should be. Hardly a moment of playing time was disrupted.
The trust, respect, and expectations you showed for them in that moment made me definitely misty. You're probably thinking, "duh, of course i would stay quiet and let them figure it out." And, in many ways, it is common sense. But honestly man, you're the first coach of 6 in 8 years who actually did it. It was beautiful.
Second, as we were getting into the car last night, my son said to me, "Want to hear some good news?" "Sure," i say. "I'm really excited to go to training." That has been an EXTREMELY rare occurrence over the last 8 years, especially the last 4. He went on to describe how much he likes the other boys, you and the other coach, and the system and style of play that you run. He loves the activities in the practices and the coaching style immensely.
During the scrimmage, he smiled the whole time. Joy was beaming out of him. After training, he said, "You might think i'm tired after all that, but i'm not at all. I have so much energy!" Practice ended at 8:45; he finally went to sleep at 11.
THANK YOU for all you have done for me and especially for my son. The culture you've developed is remarkable and rare. Thank you for asking me to trust you- best decision i've made in a very long time.
Our daughter was invited to practice with Coach last fall. A little shy at first, coach and team immediately welcomed my daughter. And she has enjoyed the opportunity to practice and play with the team.
However, over the past couple of months, my daughter was showing signs of anxiety and wanting to remove herself from practice and take a break to drink some water. It started becoming more and more frequent and occurring during games as well. Coach recognized something was unusual and kindly reached out to my wife and I to see if there was anything he could do.
We explained that she started feeling off during the riots in Bellevue last year. There wasn't a particular time or place that would trigger it, however, it was starting to happen more frequently, and in particular at soccer. Coach could not have been more perfect for how he handled the situation with us, for my daughter, and I believe the rest of the team.
There was an idea that if we just let her take her breaks with no pressure, and learn how to breathe more when she felt any anxiety coming on, that it would begin reversing itself the same way as it started to develop. Within a couple of weeks, she started to participate more and more at practice and coach has remained a huge factor allowing that to happen.
Easily, a parent, or coach could have looked at the situation as a distraction and decided that maybe soccer is just not the right thing. Which would have been a big loss and set back. Coach remained and remains aware of all his players and their abilities - as a coach. But what he did by reaching out and communicating with us during a tough time, went beyond coaching. And we are grateful.
He is a fantastic coach and a great person. We are beyond happy to see how much our daughter is enjoying the game and able to develop as a player on his team, with his direction.
We have had such a great experience with BUFC. In particular, we really appreciated the chance for our daughter to safely play during COVID, and her coach is just awesome.