Posted by: Karen | November 11, 2006

Eight to One

Last month my teenage son’s indoor soccer team started off their season with an 8 to 1 loss, yet he did not come home discouraged. I was impressed with his good attitude about his hard effort, and even more impressed with his coach’s e-mail to the team later that weekend. Here is an exerpt (with permission, names changed to protect minors):

“Today, we had an exciting day. First the 2 minute pre-game practice in the morning, then the game & finally the evening practice. For a number of players this was their introduction to indoor soccer. The game was an 8:1 loss (for us).

Given our preparation the number of errors was expected – all the forwards against the same boards, the defence chasing the (other team) towards our goal, missed passes. Parts were painful to watch and painful to play.

The good side is as important – the team visibly improved shift-over-shift. Every 15 minutes the (other team) were facing a new, faster, better team. Their scoring opportunities started to dry-up and we started to get opportunities.

We improved because we have talent and heart. The talent came through as we knocked the rust off. The heart was demonstrated on the field and on the bench. On the field we never stopped trying, even at the dark moments when it was 7:0. On the bench the commentary wasn’t about ‘other’s mistakes’

Our turning point was Neil’s place kick, we nearly scored. Right after another place kick that was close. Then, it was like the forwards suddenly knew it was possible. Then Brian scored. Then we kept trying.

Things we’ll work on:

  • Forwards bunching up
  • Defence working as a unit
  • First-to-the ball in the mid-field
  • Crisper shifting. We need to build a rhythm so we take advantage of our team size to stay very fresh, without spending too much time shifting

Things we did well

  • Keeping the ball in play We did not give up many free kicks
  • Free kicks
  • Staying in the game

It was an easy game to get discouraged or to ‘try too hard’.”

There’s a lot of soccer-eze in there, but here’s what I gleaned from their experience:

  • Identify your challenges and adapt quickly
  • Find the positives, remember that “it is possible”
  • Stay in the game

Today I’m facing a couple of 8 to 1 challenges. I have 8 cross country races left in the Grand Prix, each 8 km long with a 4k option. 8 races, 8 kms vs. one me and a clicky knee.

I don’t know if I’ll do all 8k today at the Edworthy race – the monster hill on which we do the entire race is very steep, and ice and fresh snow are going to make it treacherous. It IS possible… 🙂



  1. Sounds like your son’s team is led by a great coach. “Draft” off them and you’ll turn in great performances in all those XC races ahead. Hills and all.

  2. Go girl GO!


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