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A view from the sideline

What makes a good coach?

I’ve been racking my brain for quite a while trying to find that perfect formula of encouragement, discipline and strategy before my husband and I start our first season as soccer coaches.

In a few short weeks, my athletic career will be coming full circle.

I was once one of those tiny little players learning the game for the first time, but now I will be the adult trying to impart their soccer knowledge to those pint-sized athletes.

I’ve recently been thinking about my coaches over the years, trying to pick what traits I want to garner from my favorites. What would I have responded to as a young player? What helped me the most as a got older? Were there skills I wish I had learned earlier and been able to master? I’m finding answers to some of these questions, but I keep thinking of more.

Luckily, I have an awesome head coach to rely on. He is already preparing for the upcoming season himself with offensive strategies, planning practices and figuring out drills.

I would never have signed up to do this on my own, but I know that I’ll have a great partner through the entire season.

Between the two of us, we have played the entire field. He started out as a keeper and a defender before moving to forward in high school. I played midfield for almost all of my soccer career until I played some defense during the last few years.

Hopefully we can pass along some of that experience in a helpful way.

We want everyone to have a fun time, but we are also both very competitive people. We realize that this will be a learning year for us with hundreds of brand new experiences, so we look forward to figuring things out as we go.

We are excited about the upcoming season, looking at all the coaching equipment at the local sporting goods stores. I had never noticed how much equipment coaches need- whistles, cones, soccer balls, clipboard, first aid kit, extra shinguards and more.

Trying to prepare to be a coach has definitely made me appreciate my favorite coaches much more.

Joy Haynes is a staff writer for the Hartselle Enquirer.