Under where? A coach can be exposed if he’s not prepared

photo credit: bobsfever via photopin cc
photo credit: bobsfever via photopin cc

A soccer coach, at any level, must be prepared.

Pennies. Cones. Goalkeeper gloves and jerseys. First-aid kits, including hair ties for ponytails. A line-up. A game plan. The right shirt to match your team. If you coach more than one team, don’t ever call them the wrong name.

Don’t turn up on match day in the other team’s shirt.

And don’t ever get caught with your pants down. I’m head coach for two teams, an assistant for two more. I had a 9 a.m. game with Charlotte United in Huntersville. I coach Camdyn’s 7-9 team, too. Their game started at 10:15 in Midland.

Toss in a conversation with the team manager and a wrong turn on Old Statesville Road, and you have one late coach, changing shirts on the run.

I got an update from a mom by phone: We’re down 3-1, on our heels. The kids looked flat. “I’ll whip them into shape,” I sneered. “That’s what I was thinking!” she answered. I speed, all testosterone-laced, down I-485.

Ready to Rise Against?

I tuned into 106.5 The End, listened to aggressive, angry music like a tattooed bouncer who just got dumped would, and put the pedal to the metal.

It felt like divine intervention when Rise Against’s song “Help Is On The Way” came on. I head-banged like I really knew who Rise Against was. (Maybe I should have taken more stock in the fact that while I tried to find aggressive, angry music, I heard TWO stations that played Daniel Powter’s “Bad Day.”)

So I’m all in bad-ass mode.

I trotted (really, I did trot) onto the field, eager to fire up my flat little Monsters (their real name). Three players, including Grace, greeted me on the field. Grace held onto my back, my shoulders, my arms, whatever … like a baby ‘possum.

I try to get the um, debriefing, from Chris, my assistant coach, amid the chaos of 8-year-olds just 15 minutes from snacks and juice boxes. Camdyn slides down my back, wraps her arms around my waist and …

Well, now everyone around Field A knows that Coach Eli wears boxers.

Green ones. With soccer balls on them.

Check the draw strings

Silky, at that. I yanked up my pants. I sat on the bench. The team, for the first time since the Mesozoic Era, fell completely silent. Somehow, I delivered the line-up. Rode out the 3-1 loss.

I made it through post-game snacks with curious little eye contact with my snack mom.

A coach has to be prepared, y’all. Pennies, cones, first-aid kids with hair ties for ponytails… And a quick check of your coaching-pants’ draw strings.

Trust me on this one.


  1. queenofchaosmom says:

    Ahhh…you shared it! I LOVE it! I needed this laugh so bad tonight. Thank you! This was hilarious! Soccer balls and silky. I am going to be laughing…with you, of course…all night and probably tomorrow morning as well. This was awesome!

    1. I had to! You kind of called for it. Trust me, I needed the laugh, too. You’re welcome. It was hilarious, except for those 3.5 seconds that my pants were around my ankles.

      There are just some things about your kid’s soccer coach that should be left to the imagination – or not. Definitely unexposed. There’s so much more where this came from …

  2. queenofchaosmom says:

    Your blog is one of the funniest I have read in a long time. I will definitely be reading!

    1. queenofchaosmom says:

      That should read that it is one of the funniest I am reading. 🙂

      1. I was going to consolidate these into one comment, but then remembered that I love comments in quantity, too, not just quality.

        Thank you!

  3. stephrufa says:

    Despite the title, I didn’t expect that. Too funny. And I LOVED 106.5. Back in the late ’90’s I listened to Kim on the drive home and would laugh hysterically. I can’t remember who her co-host was but they were my favorite radio show ever. Great memories!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      It sneaks up on you – it definitely did for me that day! Just glad I didn’t have on my Star Wars boxers.

      Was your 106.5 angry rock songs, too?

  4. elleseesyou says:

    ha! too funny! shows coaches are people too!

    1. Eli Pacheco says:

      Thanks Elle! Grace didn’t want me to tell this story at first. Coaches mostly are people too – and we have the silky drawers to prove it.

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