Why Do I Coach

17 Feb

Maddie is now 13 and Patrick is 11.  It sure doesn’t seem as if that much time has passed since they came into my life.  But I can’t argue with a birth certificate.  Time is marching on!

Since their very youngest ages, I’ve coached both of them in various sports. Softball, baseball, soccer, and now lacrosse.  My parents set this example for me as a youngster. My mom volunteered as team mom and even league president.  My dad was always coaching or officiating. They always helped out. And now, so do I.

Coaching can be thankless sometimes.  When you get those parents we’ve all read about. the ones who seem to believe their $100 sign up fee buys them carte blanche to say whatever comes to mind, no matter how inane.  or the ones who live vicariously through their children’s athletics.  They can be a real pain. They can make you question coaching.

But mostly, parents are appreciative. Mostly, the kids give more to me than I give to them. I gain lessons patience when forcing myself to remember they need time to learn.  I discover again to watch my words and be sure they are understandable so they can better grasp a topic.  And, like a gardener who finally sees her harvest or a teacher whose student begins to excel, I receive a lot of satisfaction in seeing a child improve.  When a boy scores his first goal, the joy in his eyes is priceless. But my players learn more than just about their chosen sport.

They learn to be on time. They learn how they must come to practice and games with all of their gear and be prepared.  They learn they must work on skills outside of practice. They learn to set goals. They learn to take criticism. They learn to work harder than they thought they could. For the few short months they spend with me, they learn to become better people.

I coach to give back to our community.  But if I’m really being honest, coaching gives much back to me.  And that’s why I love it so much.

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