Personally speaking, I work at a great international school, that performs pretty well at the tournaments we are involved in. Last year we had about 15 girls for our 7-a-side soccer team and some were unable to go to the final tournament which we have to cut down the traveling team to 12 members. This year Coach Homie and I were stoked to get 18 girls to come out to play some soccer. We practice twice a week, have a couple of games throughout the three month period which ends with a season culminating tournament. This year that tournament is held in Beijing and we again, can only take 12 girls.
Last year we took a solid ACAMIS team to Tsigdao and ended up taking 2nd in the tournament. Our skills may not have been up to par with the other team, but they played hard and I was proud of their effort! Although we lost 2-1 in the final to a pretty solid team, I was looking forward to this year and our ACAMIS team, because of their potential and drive to become a better team!
As I said this year has been a complete change from last year. Girls are committed, not only in practice, but outside as well. They have been keeping up with a running regiment that will get them in shape to run a 10km in under 1 hour TOGETHER, AS A TEAM this coming Monday.
As I see them continue to progress in their skills, strategy and overall gameplay the hardest decision was approaching and I soon had to notify the team who would be going to ACAMIS to represent the Geckos and who would be hearing about how we did via text. As always there were some girls who have showed they were ready, committed and skilled enough to make an impact, but there were also A LOT this year that were on the bubble. For the last two spots on the ACAMIS team Coach Homie and I brought four different names into the conversation.
The time came, we had too choose only two, but still the look in some of our girls eyes hurts my heart. They came to practice, committed to the team and put in an extra effort to "try-out" for the team only to fall short. As disappointed as those athletes may feel, as a coach, I only have appreciation and adoration for those young athletes that may not have made a team they were gunning for, and then go back to the gym for a workout, trudged back onto the field or court to shoot those extra shots, honing their skills so that next time they get the opportunity, they will increase their likely hood of making the squad.
This is just a shout out to those athletes that may have been cut, just to tell you that your coaches appreciate you, they see your effort and that won't go unnoticed. For those coaches that have to go through this process as well, this is a note expressing to you, it's tough so make sure you support not only those who have made the team but make sure you show your appreciation to all of those that have come to be on your team.