Over the past couple of months I have begun to help coach football. There are some great opportunities which helping coach football provides. The first is that of being able to practice my language skills. I feel especially able to learn a simple phrase and then go to practice and use it repeatedly. I also understand the game and am able to listen to what is said and pick up different words which will help me later during class.
The second thing which is important is that I feel like I am able to get to know some people in a more organic way. The guys know that I am here as a missionary and know that I don’t speak Portuguese very well but I am able to still help out. There are mistakes that I make in speaking Portuguese but the guys are able to help correct me. The most recent one that I can think of is that I told the guys that they should not have ice cream the day before the football game when I wanted to tell them that they should not drink beer the day before the football game.
The drawback to coaching from the sideline is that I am more emotionally involved with the game that is being played. It is different than being on the field and being able to personally affect the outcome of the game.