1 Leave a comment on verse 1 0 “Think only about having fun”,
I tell my team of 9 – 11 year old girls, my Cobras.
“But what about winning coach”,
asks the smallest girl on my little team.

2 Leave a comment on verse 2 0 “Have fun”, I insist, “the more fun you have the more goals you’ll score
and the more goals you score the more fun you’ll have”.

3 Leave a comment on verse 3 0 They play tough. They play hard. They play against teams
that are superior to them in strength, size and skills.
Yet they play hard. They don’t give in. They don’t give up.

4 Leave a comment on verse 4 0 Yes, they want to win. They’d do anything to even score a goal.
They battle. They attempt long passes. They feebly shoot from
outside the box.

5 Leave a comment on verse 5 0 Football skills are not something you can teach a small child
to understand in a short period of time and quite often
not at all.

6 Leave a comment on verse 6 0 You can show them what to do and how to do it
and then only hope that they understand and try, try hard
to become better goalkeepers and defenders and strikers.

7 Leave a comment on verse 7 0 They clown around as all children do, especially during training.
They don’t always listen. Some practices go by where I feel like
the big bad wolf harassing a team of Little Red Riding Hoods.
Yet they focus during the games and sometimes even
remember what I tried to drill into their little heads and little legs
during our afternoon training sessions.

8 Leave a comment on verse 8 0 One damp Saturday morning they lost a game, which wasn’t unusual,
but to them they felt that they should have won this one on this day.
They outplayed the other team most of the game
only to see the ball half-heartedly trickle over their line and into their goal.
A freak goal. The keeper was stranded, obstructed by
defenders and attackers alike.

9 Leave a comment on verse 9 0 Their child tears fell as the rain did when the final whistle sounded.
Half of the girls’ eyes swelled up. They couldn’t
understand how their first victory, probably their only victory of the season
had slipped away.

10 Leave a comment on verse 10 0 “Everyone played a great game”, I insisted. “You should feel proud.”
Luck was not on our side today – it was with the other team.
We were unlucky not to score on one of our few chances.
They were lucky that their only chance, half-chance, gave them a goal.
Every team needs a bit of luck.

11 Leave a comment on verse 11 0 Post game chocolate bars and little boxes of orange juice
Couldn’t console them.

12 Leave a comment on verse 12 0 But something happened that day. They tasted defeat as they had
Llast week and the week before, but something happened.

13 Leave a comment on verse 13 0 At the next practice they were so focused. They were more
Ffocused than any little girl should ever focus on anything.
They practiced harder. They paid attention to every word.
They passed when I said pass. They defended when I said defend.
They smiled without being told to. Something magical happened.

14 Leave a comment on verse 14 0 I think that finally they discovered that they do not win a game
on the field, on Saturday morning when they put on their green shirts,
black shorts and black socks that they wear Thierry Henry style,
over their tender knees,

15 Leave a comment on verse 15 0 But they start winning those games every Tuesday and Thursday at 5 o’clock
at the training sessions by listening to their coaches and playing hard and
with determination for the duration of the training session.
Life is a football game but you have to prepare for every game.

16 Leave a comment on verse 16 0 Even if I cannot give them superb football skills to win games
and score goals, I can give them something more important –

17 Leave a comment on verse 17 0 Confidence in themselves and the knowledge that they can win and that
They will win if they want to, if not in a game of football, at least in life.



My girls. They’re a lot of fun and will grow up to be very successful women!

All that I can really give them is the confidence to believe in themselves. The rest is up to them.

Source: http://footballpoets.org/poems/my-girls-my-cobras/