Kathy Carter is running for the Presidency fo the United Soccer Association. It was brought to my attention from a women’s online platform that I am part of. If Carter won, she would be the first female to ever oversee this organization. From what I have read, Kathy started playing soccer at 7 and has continued through college and her adult life. To see a woman at the head of a major sports organization would certainly be a positive direction for the sports world. She appears to have the chops currently being the President of Soccer United Marketing.
What made me think of this is that when our kids were young, and we lived in the burbs, I ran the soccer division. I was the only woman coach so overseeing a group of pumped up Dad’s took on another set of issues. Let’s start out with that these kids were 4-6.
I was a camper and I always loved the competition of the games. I also played intramural sports in high school, coached kids from elementary school to junior high school while running the back office of the Montgomery County Recreation Department. We ran a variety of sports for after school activities in over 20 schools from soccer to flag football to basketball. Most of the coaches were either kids like me or parents. So I was not new to the management of the sports world.
Overall, the soccer program ran seamlessly but there was one particular game that I coached that still sticks in my mind. Perhaps after all those years of coaching kids was the reason I was undefeated because I certainly did not have a stacked team. Emily was 5. Two men were coaching the opposing team. There were two kids on their team that they kept yelling at them by shouting their names over and over and over throughout the game. “Get the ball to the goal, run, run, run, score score”. My kids were shell-shocked at the tone of these coaches (fathers) voices and so was I.
I went over to the men and asked them to put it in check and that it was not appropriate to yell at these kids like this. They were not happy with me. They stopped although it wasn’t easy for them. In the end, we won the game. I went over to shake their hands and I was thinking this guy it not going to shake my hand but perhaps he will punch me in the face? He shook my hand, begrudgingly and barely looked me in the eye. Trust me he was pissed. Fred was aghast. He was thinking about smacking those guys around. I am 100% positive that if I was a male playing against them it would have taken on a very different tone.
So, when I read that Kathy Carter is running for President of the United Soccer Association, my brain immediately went back to the kids days of soccer where I had to deal with unacceptable male egos. Their behavior certainly makes a direct impact on their sons who are now in their mid to late 20’s. Teaching young men to respect the other gender on the other side of the table needs to start very young and I can tell you it certainly did not start out on the playing field that day.