Boy's Provincial Soccer Champions
For anyone that has been coached by me or talked to me about coaching or sport, they know that I do not spend a lot of time talking about results. I spend a lot more time talking about the process.
In saying that I would like to start off by having everyone please join me in congratulating, for the first time in Brentwood history, this group of players who are now the 2021 BC Provincial Champions!
I realize it is hard to fully paint a picture of the tournament and the season especially when Mr Patel only gives me three minutes in Assembly to speak but I will try.
I have often heard the phrase “Sport is a metaphor for life” or “Sport really teaches us life lessons”. But what does that mean specifically? I’m going to try and share some of those stories that went on with this group of players and why coaching sport is so amazing and also why this group of players has been so enjoyable to coach.
1. Sport teaches you leadership – There are so many different leadership moments that go on within team sport, during games. Not just leadership from Captains but from players who were injured literally giving us coaches tactical advice. Two of our Captains had season-ending injuries and couldn’t play and so they traveled and helped coach, and picked up gear and food for the boys in between games. Leadership came up in all sorts of ways.
2. Vulnerability and courage - think of who volunteers to talk penalty kicks. Missing could make you very vulnerable. Taking one requires considerable courage.
3. Exclusion and Inclusion – We can dress 20 players for a game but start only 11. How do the subs manage their disappointment? The starters their responsibility? A successful team requires mature and unselfish teammates.
4. Independence - After the extra time in the semifinals and the finals we went into a shoot out. For those of you who do not know, you take five shots and the team with the most goals after five wins… or if it’s tied you go into more shots. Not only did we not have five people who wanted to shoot but we only had three, but eventually needed seven. Coach Dave Reynolds asked me after I spoke to the group who the five shooters were. I said I’m not sure we only have four right now. But whatever happened in the players-only huddle, the team had developed enough independence over the season to solve it.
5. Resilience and grit. Be it rain, wind, snow, injuries, breaks, broken down buses, and rushed carpooling to fields, this group of players showed what it means to be resilient and to have grit.
There are many other stories I could tell you about this group and about this Proivincial Championship Tournament but I am sure my time is up. But I wanted to leave by saying thank you to the team, thank you for being brave, vulnerable, showing courage, being resilient, being inclusive, and independent. Thank you for committing to your long-term growth as athletes and as individuals. Thank you for sticking together as a team and never giving up. Thank you.
Coach Wes Barrett