Concero incresco spiritus - Joined Together, We Grow in Spirit 
Volume # 3
April 2017

Go Stand in The Corner
A dads perspective on youth soccer

Confessions of a Soccer Dad

I stand in the corner. Near the corner flag. Far from the other parents, from our team and theirs. I stand in the corner for a bunch of reasons, all completely logical in my mind.

The other parents, from our team and theirs, are doing their kids harm. They don’t intend that harm, and they don’t know they’re doing it. But, before I get to that, I have a confession to make.

I’ve not always stood in the corner. 

I’m the worst kind of Soccer parent. I played at top levels until my left knee no longer allowed it. I’ve coached. I’m an F-licensed coach, which prepares me for just about nothing, but I’ve coached. For years. And, I’ve refereed. All of that combined to convince me that I know everything there is to know about soccer.

When my oldest boy, now 17 and on his way to play Division 1 soccer in college, started in the game, I was his coach. He was, in truth, my chance to play farther, to do better, to be the real star I never quite became. Yep, I was guilty of the worst possible offence: I lived vicariously through my boy.

But before that could happen, he had to learn the Beautiful Game. Me and his mom gave him his first football—a size 2 mini ball—the day he came home for the first time from the hospital. He didn’t play with it, he drooled on it.

As he grew, that football—that we still have—went everywhere with him. As he learned to walk, he held it less and kicked it more. He kicked it outside in the garden and inside (to his mother’s terrific irritation, having nothing to do with broken glasses, a vase or two, and even an antique end table, I’m sure). I encouraged him endlessly. “Kick the ball, Jakob!” 

And he did. He kicked it. Everywhere he went, his football went. Soon the mini-ball became a #3 ball, and his kicking became a bit better, more accurate, more nuanced. Still I encouraged him. Try these tricks, or those. See how many times you can juggle. 

When he was 5, we signed him up to play in a YMCA program. It was, as I’ve come to call it, “Beehive Football”, where the kids swarm around the ball, all of them moving in unison. Except for the kid whose dreams are made instead of dandelions and the distractions of passing butterflies.

At 7, I made my first mistake. I didn’t know it at the time, but I followed what so many—too many—parents do and do too early. At a tender 7 years old, I signed him up for competitive football. Real matches, real scores, a proper table with actual standings. At 7.

My second mistake was not saying “No!” when I was asked to be a team coach. I should have. It put me on an “I know it all” path, forged by me being an exalted coach. Of a competitive team. Pfff on that whole recreational team bit.

That year, we won the league, surely down to my coaching brilliance.

I coached another year, and left thereafter, satisfied that I was now among the highest echelons of youth football coaches. You’re supposed to leave on top, yes?

As Jakob aged, he played for a couple other, not-me coaches. Some were great, others not. All generally committed to his success, all invested in his development. Just as I was. I am, after all, his Dad.

And as his Dad, I demanded that he get the attention his talent and potential deserved. I evaluated coaches on their recognition of that talent. To my standard. I graded coaches’ nous and football wisdom based on how much time Jakob got on the pitch, on whether he started every match. It’s what Dads do. And Moms.

When a coach didn’t start Jakob or Jakob didn’t play as much as I believed appropriate, it was not the coach to whom I vented. Nope. I wasn’t terribly sophisticated in hiding my frustration or exasperation. Instead, I’d try to nonchalantly ask, “So, you didn’t start today?” or “Not much playing time today, J—what’s that about?” 

To his enormous credit, my kid kept it about him, about what he’d earned. Sometimes he’d just say, “I don’t know, Dad,” in a tone that suggested he wasn’t terribly worried about it and didn’t think I should be either. But I was.

For several years, I was. I once went so far as to confront a coach, such was my vastly superior knowledge of the game.

I believe it was from another Dad, whose kid didn’t play with mine and whose kid played for another club altogether. He sent it to me by way of tagging me on Facebook. It was a short article, as I recall, with a message that was as profound as it was transformative for me. 

Of everything that you can say to a kid after a game, won or lost, where the kid played great or was awful, where the team were thrashed or ran up the score, where the refereeing was brutal or exceptional, of all the things to say to your kid, the easiest and best is simply this.

I loved watching you play.

It turns out, that’s it. Nothing more. No silly questions about playing time. No criticisms of the coach or the referee. No quips about other players, in your team or the other.

I loved watching you play.

As I adopted this approach, it liberated me. I didn’t need to keep track of passages of play that were less than perfect. I didn’t need to count mistakes. I didn’t need to critique the coaches or the referees. 

By the way, allow me this observation. Coaches and referees? Yep, they’re human. Really, really human. Just like I am. And you are. And all of us humans? We’re imperfect. Embrace it. Deal with it. We don’t know as much about coaching as we think we do, us parents. Even parents like me who are “brilliant” coaches.

I loved watching you play.

I think the first time I said it, Jakob wasn’t quite sure what to do with me. But again to his credit, he did his best to hide his quizzical look and said, “thanks, Dad.”

It wasn’t long after that I moved down the touchline to the corner.

I stand in the corner, happily and for the most part alone, away from the parents. It’s not because I don’t like the parents, and neither am I antisocial. 

But here’s the deal.

They’re doing exactly what too many of us do. They’re mercilessly and relentlessly critical of coaches, of referees, and worse, of players, theirs and others. Occasionally, I hear encouragement of players, but mostly it’s (sometimes harsh) criticism. It’s not helpful. And, it’s not working. If it were, we’d have a crop of perfect players who are destined for world stardom. American Peles or Messis or Ronaldos.

We criticize our coaches, and yet we don’t, to our begrudging dismay, know more than they do.

We criticize our referees, and we don’t know the Laws. 

Or, we criticize our players, sapping them of their love of the beautiful game one small drip at a time.

I’m like an ex-smoker. There is no greater an anti-smoking crusader than an ex-smoker. I’m an ex-know-everything-soccer-Dad. And rather than becoming a radical anti-parents-living-vicariously-through-their-kid-while-stripping-away-their-joy-for-ours crusader, I moved to the corner.

This doesn’t make me enlightened or smart. And, I'm still decidedly imperfect at this. I don’t judge other parents—far be it from this partially rehabilitated offender to cast the first stone.

I do have opinions on this, though. (You can stop reading here, and I’ll never know you stopped. If you care about the thoughts of a random Dad, read on.)

When you watch, be a fan, not a critic. Critique no one. Instead, be a fan. A rabid one, even. A fan of your kid and of your kid’s team. Be a fan of sporting behavior, a fan of good sportsmanship. Be a fan of the world’s greatest game.

When you feel the urge to scream at the referee, remember s/he is being paid about $35-50 (up to £40), if that. No mileage, no expenses. S/he has paid for their own uniform, cards, whistle…all of it. Referees take take this pittance to be away from their families to spend the afternoon to allow your kids match to be played. If they blow a call, I promise you they’ve not done it on purpose. If you refereed, you’d make mistakes too. You do referee, don’t you? Oh. Right.

Your player is not playing for you. Your player is not your proxy. Your player is playing because at some point in his or her past, s/he fell in love with the game. Fan THAT flame. Be there not as his or her coach or critic. Be there to appreciate every drop of the great pleasure of watching him or her doing something they love. Remember that feeling you had, the smiles you wore when your player played Beehive Football? Or, when their attention was to the simple things back then, like dandelions and passing butterflies? You’d never have criticized them then, or be disappointed with their play. Resist the temptation to do it now.

Make noise. Lots and lots of encouraging, player-specific and team supporting noise. Be creative. Try creating a chant or a song. You’ll surprise the living daylights out of everyone, but imagine the atmosphere you will be part of creating. And yes, your kid will think you’re utterly mad…and secretly love your contributions to a great afternoon of footie.

Oh, and one more thing. If you find yourself surrounded by negativity, lead by example. I’ve never found much success in embarrassing another parent by calling them out. They’re likely already amped up, and most normal humans don’t respond well to criticism in such a state. Instead, YOU be the positive, encouraging influence.

And if that doesn’t work or just isn’t your thing, I’m the guy who never sits down, paces a bit, and whistles on occasion. Standing in the corner. You’re welcome to join me. Anytime.


David A Ervin 


Nothing to say other than sorry I haven't been around much as I've been concentrating on my wedding which took place on April 29th.  Thanks for all the good wishes, more next month.

Concern Incresco Spiritus,
John Romes
Hot off the Press
This months newsletter was purposely held back to be able to bring this news after tonight's game, 06 Sterling are D3 Lake Highlands Champions and will be moving up to D2 for the 2017/18 season
Congratulations to Coach Jason Gotcher and the girls.
No coach of the month award again as we wanted to give it to a volunteer.  John Romes wins the April honor and with that he wins a free haircut and more. John has been with the club for 15 years as assistant coach(05 and 02 girls) and now president. He doesn't take a cent for his time and his efforts have helped the club to become who we are today. 

The Gents Place have communicated to me that they would like to offer all the males in the club a free first time haircut. This is a huge gesture so please take advantage of this wonderful offer.

GoFundMe Toca Touch Trainer
We are looking to raise money to purchase one of these awesome machines to work on the players touch. Please feel free to share our campaign. 

Coaches Corner
It's that time of year where things go wild. Having been here for 16 years this May every year seems to get crazier. With that in mind if you have any issues try to resolve them with your coach. Too often communication doesn't happen, we try to eliminate some of this with player evaluations so you can get a good idea of where your player stands. Communication is the key. 
Sportscare and Concierge Service 

Baylor Scott & White SportsCare is dedicated to assisting you through your health care needs. For any orthopedic and sports related injuries contact the SportsCare Liaison Andrea Strebler at 972-512-7404 or at

The service is open to players and parents/family from Triumph FC. 

02 Girls Aguero
With some good (and one not so good) performances in April the team produced back to back wins against 2 local rivals and securing a LH D3 bye for next season. This weekends 2-1 lost was a baffling result considering one of the best efforts midweek against Celtic. The team is still struggling to find consistency and yet on their day are one best in the division
03 Girls Bell
The Triumph 03G Bell team finished their season 9th/20 in the Plano Red Division. (10-7-2).  Our injured players are doing better and should be back on the field in time for tournaments.  Coach Jeff said any girl that gets a header goal during a game gets to write her name on his forehead with a Sharpie.  Great goal Kate.
04 Girls Oakes

The 2004 Triumph Girls Team continues to be one of the most exciting teams to watch grow!  Over the course of the year, the 04 Girls have come together to form an unbreakable bond!  They are consistent competitors in the Plano Premier League, and despite recent injuries, the bond that these players share has lead them to continue winning games in spectacular fashion!  The Triumph 2004 Girls Oaks Team is looking forward to their return to the pitch as a full strength team in the Ft. Worth Cowtown Classic in May.  The Triumph 04 Girls Oaks Team will hold open practices during the month of June, and is very excited to invite a few new members into their “tight-nit” family.  The team dynamic is truly special, and any player considering the team should look forward to being welcomed with open arms.

05 Girls Oakes

The 05 Triumph Girls Oaks team has been busy at work as they gear up for an exciting month of May!  The 05 Girls had an exceptional “inaugural” season, as they finished in second place in the Plano Premier League with a 15-2-1 record and a magnificent positive 49 goal differential!  The 05 Girls are primed and ready to make a run in the 2017 North Texas State Cup, and will finish the year in San Antonio as they compete in the U13 Division of the Lions Cup!The 05G Oaks Team is looking forward to an amazing future together!  The success of the 05 Girls in Coppell has garnered the attention of dozens of local players, and they are honored to host open tryouts for these players during the month of June.

05 Girls Aguero
The 05 Aguero girls wrapped up their spring season in April, earning 12th place in Lake Highlands U12 Division I. The team fought through a rash of injuries at the end of season, playing the last three games with more players hurt than available subs for each match. The girls played some of their best soccer the last couple games, against two two highly-rated teams. They have earned a bye into Lake Highlands Division II for next year, and are looking to add a few more players to the roster for next season.

08 Boys Young
The boys are playing in PrimeTime Silver League on Sundays.  We started off the season strong with 4 wins in a row then followed by two tough losses.  The boys showed their resiliency by bouncing back this past weekend by beating the previously-undefeated 1st place team in the division with a score of 8-3.  For that game, Coach Kevin switched up the formation right before the game started which proved to confuse the other team.  With one game left to play in the season, the team is looking to finish in second place in their division with a win or a draw.
09 Boys De Bruyne 

The 09 boys are wrapping up their spring season. All players continue to develop their individual skills. The team is looking forward to the continued growth and development of the 09 Boys! 
If you do not see your team here then they didn't submit a report for April
Projected Teams for Season 2017/18
01 Boys- Randy Frady
01 Girls- Jake Pappas 
02 Boys- Jake Pappas
02 Girls- Jake Pappas
02 Girls- Richard Smith
02 Girls- Chuck Way 
03 Girls- Jake Pappas
03 Boys- Jake Pappas
04 Girls- Skylar Webber
04 Girls- Malcolm Paice 
05 Girls- Richard Smith
05 Girls- Skylar Webber
06 Girls- Jason Gotcher
06 Girls- Skylar Webber
06 Girls- Jason Gotcher (2nd team)
07 Boys- Mike Vincent (Fort Worth)
07 Girls- Jim Foringer
08 Girls- Heath Moody
08 Girls- Kyle Beggs
08 Boys- Jeff Hunsucker 
08 Boys- Kevin Lopez
09 Girls- HeathMoody/Chuck Way
09 Boys- Ray Cervantes 
10 Boys- Nestor Hernandez
10 Girls- Nestor Hernandez 
10 Girls- Roanoke and Lewisville 
11 Girls- Roanoke and Lewisville 

The team list could grow dramatically over the next couple of months.  Please refer to the website for updated teams, tryout times and practice locations.
Spirit Wear and Events
Spirit Wear items arriving and being delivered to team managers, continuing through first week of May. Our next offering will be in July where we will have items available for purchase and ordering on signing day.
4th Annual Summer Shootout - scheduled for  June 1 through June 4 at Five Star Complex in The Colony.
Annual Wine Tasting and Silent Auction Fundraiser - tentatively set for  June 24.
New White Jersey
We are finally bringing the jerseys to match the Navy one. All 3 were designed 2 years ago with plans to phase them in slowly. Navy was first and the white one is being brought in summer of 2017. Here is a sneak peak. The sky will be 2018.
Skills and Camps
Friday Nights starting Friday 17th March
6-7pm Birth Year 2008-2011
7-8pm Birth Year 2003-2007
Coaches Richard Smith & Jason Gotcher 
960 E Hwy 121 Business
$5 per player
Friday Nights 6-7pm 
Metrocrest Community 
Church of Coppell
536 E Sandy Lake 
$5 per player

Thursday Nights starting 23rd March
6-7pm Birth Year 2009-2011
2297 Litsey Road 
Rockhaven Church
$5 per player

Congratulations to the new Mr. and Mrs. Romes.  John and Angela cutting the cake.
John with 4 of the Triumph 92 girls
Sarah Margret Pittman, Christina Baker, Mallory Taylor and Haley Powers.
To create a fun learning environment which enhances player development by teaching the correct techniques & tactics at the right time by using age appropriate practices while acquiring a life long love of the game.
Mercedes Benz 2008
PRICE $12,995 
MILEAGE 88,005 
MPG: 18 city / 25 hwy
Style: C 300 Sport 4dr Sedan
Engine: 3.0L V6
Transmission: Automatic 7-Speed
Fuel: Gasoline
Drivetrain: RWD
Exterior Color: Black
Interior Color: Gray
Interior Fabric: Leather
Stock: 167963
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