Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Good List

I’ve decided to be the assistant coach of my daughter’s soccer team this fall. My knowledge of the game is limited to which team has possession of the ball and when someone scores. What I bring to the table is four years on the sidelines reliving my cheerleading days, shouting, “Go, Ally!”

Let’s just say, these 11-year-olds will be teaching me a thing or two.

Tonight is the draft. I will attend fully prepared having studied the players like a gambling man examines his hand. My clipboard has the names categorized by ability and position. I am pumped up, my head spinning with plan A, plan B – whatever it takes to amass the best players. We are going to dominate that field, I’m thinking.

I asked Ally to review my picks.

She nodded.

“Mom,” she said, scanning the names, “Don’t pick all the good players.”


“Leave some for the other teams.”

I stared at her blankly.

“Some of the players I want on my team aren’t the best at soccer, but they’re really nice girls.”

The record scratches. In the midst of my plan of attack, my young girl reminds me that greed isn’t good. That sharing the bounty with others is the right thing to do. And more importantly, that judging people on their inner goodness, not necessarily their outer successes, is perhaps the higher road -- the road I’ve been talking a lot about, but not always walking on.

I rearrange my list and Ally gives me the names of the nice girls. And off I go.