Management isn't always easy

Managing your kid's football team isn't an easy road, there are plenty of issues to consider when taking on the role.

These days, life is hectic. When did you last bump into a parent who said they were feeling relaxed and hadn't been very busy lately? Exactly.

So when the time comes to sign up for kids' football teams, you naturally think someone else will do the coaching and the team managing. Well it's not like you can do it - you don't know much about the sport and you have a million other things on.

I was one of those parents. My husband was a bit the same. Until one day we were faced with a situation where our son's team didn't have a coach or a manager.

The season approached, the kids' excitement grew and still, there was no coach and no manager. So my husband and I took a deep breath and volunteered. Yikes.

At the first training session, my husband discovered something quite frustrating: the kids weren't listening to him. He came home hoarse and frustrated.

He had all week to work on a new strategy, so he went back the next week with rested vocal chords and renewed determination, brought on by the purchase of a whopping big whistle. Oh what a difference a week made! He blew the whistle, they stopped. They started talking, he blew again. They kept talking, he gave them a lap of the oval.

They were energetic little boys and they loved it. They loved the discipline and the order of things and the process of learning how to be a member of a team.

He gave them nicknames. He praised them if they did well, told them to try harder if they weren't having a good game and taught them how to improve their skills. It was slow going and no, they didn't always listen.

Meanwhile, I had the easy job of team managing. Okay, so I did forget the odd vital piece of information in the initial team emails. But I could always guarantee I'd be swamped with questions from the parents if I forgot something important.

It took a season, but the kids learnt how to listen a bit more, how to respect each team member and they seemed to thrive on the actual exercise. They were like little puppies who turned up each week bouncing around, needing a run. Even the days they didn't really feel like coming to training or turned up grumpy, they seemed to leave in a better frame of mind after an hour out on the field.

The parents were really, really grateful and that was reflected in the kids. For our family, making time to coach and manage our kids' football teams for a season was an experience I wouldn't trade.