I forgot to tell you about one of the most effective and appropriate halftime speeches of the season. At halftime of the championship game against Mercer, there were many frustrated faces - coaches and players. Like I said, I had no idea that game would be so hard for us and seemed so easy for Mercer.
Justin and I tried to solve everything tactically. Better individual defending on the player with the ball. Better cover for the first defender. Don't let our center midfielders get so deep on our center backs. Possess the ball longer by changing the point of attack, etc.
While Justin was talking to the team, Kyle asked me if he could say something when Justin was finished. Kyle rarely addressed the whole team. He coaches the goalkeepers, talks to individuals, and gives his input to the coaches. I appreciated him asking and of course said yes.
Kyle has been a great addition to our staff. He is doing a good job of working with 3 very different goalkeepers and personalities. He has embraced his role with our team. It has turned out to be a win-win situation for both of us.
Anyway, Kyle told the girls that their attitudes were wrong. He told them that they were the 1st Belmont soccer team - men's or women's - to play in a conference tournament final. They should not be mad. They should be happy. They should be excited. They should enjoy the experience. Kyle told everyone to smile and laugh. He got all of us to laugh when he told the team that they acted like, "Lisa just dropped the curfew bomb on them." It was good advice for all of us and a great punch line.
As the 2nd half progressed, you could feel the frustration be passed on to Mercer. They could not score, and we were getting more chances. We ended the game more relaxed and confident. Mercer ended the game uptight and frustrated.
Kyle's halftime speech could not have been more appropriate.