I mentioned I was doing an FA coaching course here. Well, I passed. Which felt absolutely bloody brilliant. The best thing I got out of today was the real strong bond between the 22 of us on the course. I was on last and there were no shortage of helpers for me setting out the pitch, helping as ball boys (and girls) and taking an active part in the exercise. I hope I was as helpful to the others in their hour of need.
A new physical affliction to add to the swollen Achilles - sunburn on the backs of my knees. Ouch.
After yesterday's Under 11s 11-a-side tournament at Hadfield, where Joe's knee gave out and he had to be carried off in tears in the semi-final, then witnessed his mates lose on penalties, I was feeling a bit down about the whole circus of kids football. I still despair at the behaviour of some adults - and I didn't exactly cover myself in glory by giving the ref some backchat about child protection when he refused to stop the game as Joe was unable to walk. By the way, I've checked, and he should have stopped the game (welfare of the child is paramount), but equally as a parent on the sidelines I shouldn't have opened my mouth.
But there is a minefield here and as zealous as I feel about what I've learned on my course, I question whether common sense and FA policy is swimming against the tide. What should the attitude to winning be? Win at all costs? Or play the right way? At what point is asking kids to make decisions going to work?