Today was day one of college sectionals. I arrived late (dammit!) to pick up half the team to drive them to Santa Cruz for the tournament. I've been trying to be on time, instead of my usual 15 minutes late, but every time I worry about being on time, I stress at every stop light and worry about every lane change and ick, it sucks. If I had a good list of five minute tasks, I'd be less stressed at the arriving early and waiting. Maybe.
The team's first game was against Stanford A, who was seated second at the tournament. There was exactly, uh, zero chance of winning this game, but the girls were very realistic: they wanted one point.
After struggling to complete more than two passes, then getting into a groove, the team started to work the disc upfield. They had run through blocks (Sarah J) and fantastic skies (Annie), and enough backhand breaks that the Stanford coaches were complimenting them. When the score was 0-5, I suggested a pull play, which worked far better than anyone could imagine: catch, first throw to Amelia, Kelsey out of the stack, crazy high, long throw to Annie who dished the disc to Amelia for the score.
Yay, hotbox practices!
Suddenly, Stanford took them seriously. The second half of the game was a lot harder, but finished quickly, with a final score 1-15.
At the end of the game, most everyone on the team asked me if Kate was coming to the tournament. I explained she was at Liza's soccer game, and would be by soon. After she arrived and took over for the game coaching, I understood why they kept asking for her. Where I was encouraging but hesitant to overload the team with specifics, Kate was encouraging, direct and willing to throw as much knowledge as could apply at the moment.
I left after the second game, a 0-15 loss with a large number of run-through defenses as well as great oh-so-close-to-scoring disc movement (2 feet outside of the endzone - 2 feet!). When I arrived home, I talked to Kris about the games and the team.
I told Kris about the disc movement, the large number of forced turnovers by the team, the great work the team was doing. I commented that fairly much everyone asked if Kate was coming to the tournament, and then about her coaching style.
He turned to me and asked, "Is Kate a good coach?"
I didn't hesitate, "Absolutely."
She told me experience helps, she's been coaching for ten years. Sure, that helps, but she also talks and moves and coaches with confidence. If I had to choose who I'd want coaching me, yeah, I'd pick Kate in a heartbeat, too.