In all likelihood, your days of being able to grasp athletic glory for yourself are all but gone. That doesn’t mean you can’t find a way to pull on a new championship ring each season, though. Just get involved in coaching youth sports! It’s a good way to help spread your passion for the game to a younger generation, but even more importantly, it’s a great opportunity for you to win, thereby proving what a successful, awesome person you are.
Luckily for you, years of movies and television shows have given us a crystal clear road map to youth sports success. Follow these steps, and you’ll be getting doused in Gatorade before you know it.
Step 1: Become an Alcoholic There’s only one kind of coach who wins youth league championships: the kind who’s coaching to help him forget about his personal demons. Ideally, you’ll already have some demons; anything from a failed pro sports career to a cheating ex-wife will do.
If you need to manufacture such a tormented past, we recommend drinking. More specifically, drinking scotch. Lots of it. Be careful here, as you don’t want to reach the point of liver failure. Three to five years with a daily intake of one to two quarts of the cheapest scotch you can find should do the trick nicely.
Step 2: Give Up The Booze Eventually, you’re going to need to drunkenly look in the mirror and make the sincere decision to clean up your act. And what better way to occupy yourself while you stay clean than coaching a kids’ team?
Step 3: Recruit a Fat Kid If our comprehensive review of sports movies has taught us nothing else, it’s that your new team needs a fat kid. A real porker. A full-on LardyPants who’s perpetually out of breath. It seems counterintuitive that you absolutelymusthave one player who hides Twinkies in between his three chins, but don’t challenge the sports gods on this one.
Step 4: Fill Out the Roster Now that you’ve got Tubso on board, you can flesh out the depth chart as you see fit. However, try to make sure each player fits into one of these rigid categories: Rich Kid, Poor Kid, Kids Whose Dad is in Jail, Vaguely Ethnic Kid, Kid with Comical Speech Impediment, Twin, Other Twin, and Nerd. Once you’ve assembled this murderers’ row of stock characters, you can…
Step 5: Have a Disastrous Training Camp We’re all familiar with the old adage “You practice like you play.” Chuck that tired cliché out the window, though. If sports movies have taught us anything, it’s that championship teamsalwayshave horrendous training camps. Players running to third base on hits, quarterbacks punting the ball away on second down…the more clueless your squad is during training camp, the better. (Note: This tactic doesn’t work for pro teams. Good try, though, 2009 Tampa Bay Bucs.)
Step 6: Go on a Losing Streak Nobody likes a wire-to-wire leader, so it’s come-from-behind underdogs who really inspire us. So you’re going to need to drop some games. Lots of them. Luckily, a horrible training camp and the presence of the fat kid are usually worth a three-game losing streak, bare minimum.
Step 7: Pick a Martyr Look, there's no easy way to say this, but if you want for this story to have emotional resonance and the accompanying victories someone's going to have to croak. Find someone who's willing to take the ultimate one for the team, preferably a player whose on-field performance was middling but who had a reputation as "the real heart and soul of the team. (A quick rule of thumb to help you find your martyr: 90% of the time this player will be white.)
Remember, this is sad, unsettling business, and if you could win that league championship without intentionally rupturing the gas lines in your player’s house, you would. Remind yourself this is necessary, though, and don’t forget to wipe down any fingerprints you might have left at the scene. You’re trying to win a title here, not spend upwards of three years in jail.
Step 8: Rally Around Your Martyr After the funeral, have a somber meeting with your team. Tell them that you’ll understand if they don’t want to go on without their fallen teammate, but that you really think this is what Joey would have wanted. When the kids remind you that the martyr’s name was Jimmy, not Joey, point out that wherever he is, he probably doesn’t care what you call him. Now, do they want to keep playing or not?
Your team will invariably tell you they want to keep playing to honor their fallen comrade. Perfect. Now’s the time to…
Step 9: Make an Improbable Playoff Run At this point, your suddenly inspired team is going to start winning games. Lots of them. It’s just going to magically start happening, and you won’t have to do any actual coaching to pick up these victories. In fact, you might want to put a Sudoku on your clipboard so you’ll look busy on the sideline when the games start winning themselves. You’ll quickly find yourself in the championship game, at which point you should…
Step 10: Fall Behind in the Championship Game At the beginning of the championship game, have your team works its way into a hole, the deeper the better. A deficit of 42-0 or so should properly set the stage for a dramatic comeback. At halftime, give your players a rousing speech in which you tell them that you don’t care whether they win or lose, you’re just so proud of them for coming this far. (Note: this is a lie. You are desperately interested in whether they win or lose, and if they can’t make this comeback, you’ll be damned if you see those little twerps get so much as a post-game orange slice.) Now, just sit back and…
Step 11: Win the Championship Game Again, the X’s and O’s of this win pretty much take care of themselves, so don’t concern yourself with in-game strategy. Spend most of the second half clapping, cheering, and wondering where you’re going to put your new championship trophy.
Congrats, Coach! You did it! Oh, God, what are the cops doing there? Didn’t we tell you to wipe off any prints? What? Security camera footage? Ah, man, this is bad. Maybe they’re bluffing. And if they’re not? That 10-year sentence will give you plenty of time to learn the intricacies of the wildcat offense in time for your next championship campaign.