Before the soccer practice began, the kids buzzed around Anthony Armstrong with no direction or purpose, other than to make as much noise as possible and not occupy the same plot of grass for more than a half-second.
“The hardest thing is to keep them all corralled. I wish I had a lasso sometimes,” said Armstrong, the Washington Redskins wide receiver who is several weeks into his tenure as a rookie youth soccer coach.
He finally rounded up the group of 7- and 8-year-olds and explained that this practice was a training day with a special instructor who was going to teach some new drills and basic soccer skills. It also would be a good learning opportunity for Armstrong.
Most years, he’d spend spring working out at the Redskins’ facility and likely attending minicamps and organized team activities with coaches and teammates. But because of the NFL lockout, Armstrong has found himself with some extra time on his hands.
“I don’t have anything to do,” said Armstrong, the Redskins’ top returning wide receiver under contract for next season.