So as I sit here writing this blog, I have only had five hours of sleep in the past 24 hours and my seven soccer kids are soundly asleep in our 4-bedroom rented suite in preparation for a long day of soccer matches tomorrow. Any person who looked at and interacted with me at the airport told me "Good luck, you're gonna need a lot of it!". So what exactly about this job that makes all this crap worth it? It's the kids themselves.
I have not been with SSA for the past year or so and have only returned due to a shortage of coaches, but I also could not turn down the chance to be working with the lads who I spent the beginning of my coaching career with. We have been a public disturbance everywhere we go in Bangkok, and granted I feel annoyed at times at the level of noise and craziness produced by my kids. But it doesn't actually make me feel mad. There is a special feeling to it, something that I have only found through coaching these young, energetic and crazy young soccer players!
Throughout the first day of the trip I had the chance of talking and sharing my experiences in coaching with this young group of lads who so innocently and enthusiastically asked me about my college experience (and also about my lovelife!). Seeing them comfortable around me throughout the trip was the most rewarding experience. I had a brief chat with my coworker who has probably been coaching for nearly as long as I have been alive! After asking him about how long he plans to stay in the business, I was told that there were and are times he has been considering his position, but insisted that the kids are the only good thing about the job. I could not agree more.
This is probably my last time with my beloved club and I am going to make every second of it a positive experience for the young players that have put their trust in me and feel comfortable calling me their coach.
About the Author
Bao "Terry" Cao is currently a coach at Manchester United Foundation and the FA Development Centre for girls. Terry is licensed by both the FA and USSF. He shares his personal experience of being involved in youth soccer as both a coach and an outside viewer.