(Guest post from Coach Karthik at Soccer Shots Los Angeles)
Recently I began coaching at a new school in Mar Vista. When I got to my first session I noticed one of the kids crying because I was new to her and she couldn’t associate me with a familiar face. To make myself more approachable to her, I noticed she was wearing a South Africa jersey and a polka dot hat.
During the walk over from the classroom to the playing area, I complimented her jersey by saying, “I loved it!” I asked her if she watched the World Cup last summer. We proceeded to chat as she told me that the jersey belonged to the “Bafana, Bafana.” I asked her if she knew what it, “Bafana, Bafana” meant. She was unsure of the meaning, so I told her it meant “the boys, the boys” in Zulu. She got a kick out of learning something new. I joked with her asking if she’d give me her hat because it was so cool. She smiled through her fading tears and said, “it’s a girls’ hat and you’d look silly in it!” I replied by just taking a hi-five, which she happily gave me.
By the time we started the session she was very comfortable being around her new coach. I even made her my helper for the warm-up, which proceeded to help the situation. At the end of class she even gave me a hug.
A week later (today), she was really excited to see me and couldn’t wait to get started with soccer.
Not to sound cheesy, but days like that will make your week!
Coach Karthik, SSLA