Week 1

Such a fun game on Sunday. Really great to see the Pennies knocking the ball around and shooting. We’ve definitely got some kinks to work out but we’re going to enjoy being on the bigger field and having some space to do.
For now, enjoy these pics from Jonathan Clapper.


Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on Week 1

FALL 2014 Schedule

Meridian Park Elementary
17077 Meridian Ave N

6-Sep: 11:30 vs Shooting Stars
13-Sep: 9:00 vs Rainbow Dolphins
20-Sep: 9:00 vs. Grasshoppers
27-Sep: 9:00 vs Pink Zebras
4-Oct: 11:30 vs Sparkling Stars
11-Oct: BYE
18-Oct: 10:15 vs Running Banananas
25-Oct:  11:30 vs Shooting Stars
25-Oct:  1:30 vs Sparkling Stars

Posted in Uncategorized | Comments Off on FALL 2014 Schedule

the season so far

Four games. Halfway through and I’m really encouraged by how the girls are improving week to week.  And they look good doing it with their shiny new Penny Hoodies.


This last Saturday’s game was especially gratifying. As Jonathan Clapper noted, “No matter who was on the field, all three girls were playing soccer all the time.” Indeed they were passing, scoring and defending, but more importantly they were making good choices.

Often enough at practices and games, the girls are prone to distraction, but yesterday they were totally focused. They played hard despite the weather. And they were really responsive to coaching. Again, it was gratifying as both a coach and a parent.

During the second half of the season, we’ll continue working on skill building. I’ll be circling back to the skill cards to continue building confidence on the ball. Mostly we’ve been working on comfort and control. Next we’ll start working on speed and distance with change of pace and passing drills.

I’m looking forward to seeing how they continue to grow as players and as people over the next month or so.

Posted in decision making, games, skills | 1 Comment


I bought these headbands for the Pennies because (a) they’re pretty cool and (b) I want them to choose to be soccer players. In a perfect world, their headbands are sacred. And each Penny cares about protecting it. The headbands could be symbols of their commitment to soccer.

Each family needs to decide about whether and how important it is. But my ideal, is that they wear their headbands to games, practices and even when they’re messing around in the backyard.

In any case,I have been asking the Pennies, “What does your headband mean?”
It means, “I am a soccer player.”

I’ve noticed some Pennies have been doing cartwheels or twirls or brainfarts when they should be playing soccer. I have threatened taking their headbands away.

I’d be grateful for your support in helping them stay focused. And if the headbands can be a meaningful symbol, awesome.

Posted in fyi, glossary, philosophy | Comments Off on headbands

glossary update – 2013

We’re a few weeks into a new season. It’s really fun to have everyone back. Take a look at some of the pics from last year and then look at your Pennies now. Pretty incredible how much they’ve grown.

With a new season, we’re working on new ideas. Here are a few additions to the “Penny Glossary”

  • Be a Shark: Last year I introduced the question: “Where does your body go?” That was about defensive position. “Be a Shark” is about defensive attitude. Specifically, I want them to attack the ball when another team has it.
  • Green Means Go: This is me giving Penny permission to go straight to goal. If I yell, “green means go”, I want them to forget everything and go score. For now “green means go” is for a single player. Soon it will be a corporate effort.
  • Lanes: At practice I’ve been using cones to divide the field into three “lanes”.  I never want 3 Pennies in the same lane. Never. You’ll hear me reference lanes on Saturdays. Sometimes I just want them to spread out. I may also yell “Change Lanes” which means I want Penny to change direction with speed.
  • Yes: I want the Pennies to start speaking soccer language on the field. We’re starting with “Yes”. Which is soccer for “I’m open.” You’ll hear them yelling “YES! YES!” a bunch. They won’t necessarily be open, but they are communicating, which is good.

As always, you can reinforce these ideas by asking the Penny what means what. AND when you see the Pennies assimilating these ideas, let them know.

Posted in decision making, fyi, glossary | Comments Off on glossary update – 2013

penny soccer logo

Special thanks to Chad Smith (Kyla’s dad) for creating this logo. You might note the similarity to the official FIFA logo. Cool, right?!


Posted in fyi | Comments Off on penny soccer logo

2013 Schedule

ALL GAMES at Hillwood Park – 19001 3rd AVE NW in Shoreline.

Sept 7 – 11:30 vs. Pink Zebras
Sept 14 – 9:00 vs. Shooting Stars
Sept 21 – 12:45 vs. Tinkerbells
Sept 28 – 9:00 vs. Raindbow Dolphins
Oct 5 – 10:15 vs. Cleat Heat
Oct 12 – 9:00 vs. Running Bananas
Oct 19 – 9:00 vs. Grasshoppers
Oct 26 – 11:30 vs. Pink Zebras

Posted in games | Comments Off on 2013 Schedule

penny portrait

Posted in pics | 1 Comment

excited about pennies

I love this team and it has been really really fun coaching them. I look forward to playing together again soon. In the meantime I wanted to share this literary excerpt which may help explain why I named our team the Pennies. It may also provide a little bit of insight into how I think about coaching, parenting, being.

One of my favorite books is Annie Dillard’s Pilgrim at Tinker Creek. Chapter 2 is titled “Seeing”. In it she writes:

The world is fairly studded and strewn with pennies cast broadside from a generous hand. But–and this is the point–who get’s excited about a mere penny?

I do. Or at least I’m learning to. It’s really easy to celebrate big stuff. But if that’s all we celebrate, I think we miss the point. Dillard continues:

It is dire poverty indeed when a man is so malnourished and fatigued that he won’t stoop to pick up a penny. But if you cultivate a healthy poverty and simplicity, so that finding a penny will literally make your day, then, since the world is in fact planted in pennies, you have with your poverty bought a lifetime of days. It is that simple. What you see is what you get.

So, I hope that you will get excited about pennies. I hope you will celebrate and reward every time you see Penny playing soccer. I hope you’ll give her a penny and that her new change purse will get really heavy. Remind her that “little things add up”.

And I hope that each of you yourselves will collect your own pennies and that you’ll realize that you have more than a bunch of coins. Indeed, you’ll have a lifetime of days.

Posted in philosophy | Comments Off on excited about pennies

penny logos

I’ve been dreaming about getting sweatshirts or something for our team. I think that would be the coolest. I had a friend mock up some ideas, which I’ve included below. Let me know what you think.

I had hoped to get something done in time for our party, but I think we’ll wait for next season. Next season! I’m already excited.

Posted in fyi, pics | Comments Off on penny logos