Tagged with "high school"
8 Feb
2018
Posted in: parenting
By    No Comments

A Letter to Coaches

I’ve known a lot of coaches through the years. There are the coaches from my youth. There are the high school and college coaches I interacted with as a sports reporter before I became a mom. There are the volunteer coaches that have worked with my own children, and the paid coaches who have instructed our oldest boys in middle school and high school. I’ve known some wonderful coaches who are not only good at their job but good people. I’ve also known coaches who are good at coaching but not good people. There are a couple coaches from the past who are not good people and not good coaches. Thankfully those coaches are few and far between.

Watching coaches through mom eyes is much different than how I saw them as a 20-something reporter. I want my children to be successful in their athletic endeavors, but more importantly, I want them surrounded by adults who are not only in the coaching business because they love the sport but because they want to play a role in raising up the next generation.

coach watching a football game

Our oldest son is nearing the end of his second athletic season of his high school freshman year. He has a coach who coached his freshman football team and his junior varsity wrestling squad. B has seen that coach more in the last seven months than B has seen his siblings. That coach has been there for at least two hours five-nights a week since August. His role and impact on B’s freshman year is huge. Thankfully all feedback from B on the coaching front through his freshman year, which has included over 15 coaches, has been positive, albeit sprinkled with the occasional emotional response in the heat of battle. Coaches are just passionate humans. Lackluster coaches have that passion for the win alone. Great coaches harbor that passion for the game as well as the individual athletes.

A few weeks ago, we hit the middle of wrestling season and a mental brick wall with B. Wrestling is intense. I’ve never been around a sport that requires the mental resiliency of a wrestler. B was frustrated. The wins weren’t stacking up as fast as he’d like. He was questioning his decision to switch to wrestling. He was sure he was disappointing his family, his coaches and the upperclassmen who had persuaded him to wrestle.

I tried every pep talk in my arsenal. Pep talks, especially centering on sports, are my thing. I have a cheesy quote, anecdote or story for almost every situation. Every thing I tried fell on deaf ears with B. He wasn’t going to be picked up or motivated. I did something I don’t do and ratted him out to the coaches who had no idea he was feeling anything but confident. One talk with a coach, and B was back on track.

coach talking with wrestler

B has been able to see improvements in his wrestling, even when it’s not a win. I’m sure most of what was said between coach and athlete is very similar to what came from his mother, but the influence of a coach is much different from a parent. Your mom is supposed to have confidence in you. B expects that from me. His coach having confidence in his abilities carries power. A well-placed, “I’m proud of you,” from a much-loved coach can ease doubts in a way a parent cannot.

I could insert the name of several coaches into this letter. We’re blessed to have a good village of adults joining us in raising our children from the sideline.

Dear Coach,

I see you correcting, encouraging and teaching our son. I know the hours you put in to bettering him and his teammates.  I’ve noticed his athletic improvements. I know he’s stronger and more confident in what he’s physically capable of doing. I know you want him to represent the team well, but I know the type of person he’s becoming is also your concern.

You’ve filled an important role better than I could have ever hoped. Children need adults, outside of their parents, guiding and cheering them on, but most importantly, showing them they matter. Here you are doing all those things and maybe not seeing the impact your dedication and passion for a sport has on multiple lives. I know he respects you from how he talks about you. I know you respect him from what he says about how you speak to him.

I can never thank your family enough for giving you to your athletes. All those hours you spend with our son and his teammates are evenings and weekends you’re not with your own family. That sacrifice of time, even if a pay check is included, is a gift. I wish you could hear how he talks about his coaches, his teammates and his experience. On those days when you don’t know why you keep coaching, his words would help reignite your passion. It’s more than sports. It’s more than winning and losing. It’s more than bigger, faster, stronger. It’s about leaning in to each other. It’s about dedication. It’s about perseverance. It’s about doing hard things. It’s about enjoying the high points and wading through the low. Thank you for your time, talents and efforts. Your work does not go unnoticed.


 
Recognizing My Selfish Parenting
By     |    Dec 19, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    2 Comments

Recognizing My Selfish Parenting

The second day of high school our freshman came home declaring he was going to be a U.S. history teacher. No more engineering or business degree for him. Ninety minutes with his freshman history teacher had changed his life course, or maybe not. He could easily be a professional musician, or coach, or a street performer. The later has crept into conversations ever since a trip to Key West. Four months of high school has taught me that we are... [Read More]

Read more
One of Us
By     |    Nov 8, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    1 Comment

One of Us

I’m a nervous creature by nature and have serious worrying tendencies. Sending our oldest to high school sent me through a minefield of emotions. I’d never attended a school that size, excluding college. He’d be with hundreds of students from all over the county, and I knew this point marked the time he would be more with others and less with us. All we had taught and trained him up with would be put to actual test. When I dropped... [Read More]

Read more
Teenagers Deserve More From Adults
By     |    Sep 18, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Teenagers Deserve More From Adults

Twice last week I listened to adults rant about teenagers. I heard all about how lazy teens are, how disrespectful, how they lack work ethic, how they dress like slobs and how our future is surely doomed when that lot reaches adulthood and takes over. I listened and silently seethed until the ranting was over. Both times I shared only one thought,” You, obviously, don’t know the right teenagers.” Right around the time I thought I had a decent grasp... [Read More]

Read more
Joys of Back to School Shopping
By     |    Aug 31, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Joys of Back to School Shopping

Joys of Back to School Shopping

Every August I look forward to back-to-school shopping for clothes and shoes for our kids, and every August I’m reminded how taxing the actual shopping excursion is in reality. We try to make a weekend trip away from home to a larger city to make the sometimes tedious shopping more enjoyable. At least in a larger city there are more food options to help in coaxing good behavior. This year with high school football a new part of our schedule,... [Read More]

Read more
Adjusting to a Different Summer
By     |    Jun 21, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Adjusting to a Different Summer

Adjusting to a Different Summer

I miss preschoolers. Maybe I don’t miss everything about having young children, but parenting a teen and a tween this summer has me nostalgic for truly lazy days of summer. I was prepared for life to change when our oldest entered high school. He’s active and involved. I knew certain things, like sports, would require more time. He hit the ground running this summer and his commitment motivated our 7th grader to start his own training program. By 9:45 a.m.... [Read More]

Read more
No Ugly Crying for Me
By     |    May 22, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on No Ugly Crying for Me

No Ugly Crying for Me

Warning: I’ve become a spontaneous crier. In fairness to myself, I’ve always been a crier, but lately, my tears seemingly flow on a daily basis. I can’t keep them at bay and really have stopped trying. I’ve promised our children I’ll stop myself before I’m at the ugly cry level, but that’s as much as I can pinkie swear about. Thankfully, the tears are happy(ish) for the most part. We’re finishing up another school year, my ninth as a mom,... [Read More]

Read more
Sometimes Life is That Cliché
By     |    Feb 3, 2017
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Sometimes Life is That Cliché

Sometimes Life is That Cliché

If there’s one thing I know about parenting, it’s that children grow up too fast. I know. I know. It’s the epitome of cliché, but also heartrendingly true. Our oldest will be a freshman next year and will register for high school classes this month. I’m sentimental, sometimes to a fault. The email confirming his placement in high school seemed surreal. It surely belonged in someone’s else inbox. I can’t possibly have a teenager in high school. I’m too young,... [Read More]

Read more
Preschool Time is Over
By     |    May 21, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Preschool Time is Over

Preschool Time is Over

I believe Father Time is mocking me. I can hear a voice taunting me to keep up to the pace that’s been set. My breath hitches quite often theses days when these children of mine hit a milestone or some new physical change becomes abundantly obvious, even if I live in denial of anything changing. I mistakenly believed I was sad about the quick passing of time. While I do think sadness lurks in there somewhere, I’m more in awe... [Read More]

Read more
Meet an Author: Jay Asher
By     |    Feb 9, 2015
Posted in: parenting, reading     |    2 Comments

Meet an Author: Jay Asher

Books are important and talking with authors about their books is a privilege. Authors are like rock stars for me. I had the chance to talk with and listen to author Jay Asher last week. He stopped in my town as part of his 50 States Against Bullying author tour. I was Christmas-morning excited to hear what he had to say. I read his book, 13 Reasons Why, almost three years ago, and still think about the topics he wrote... [Read More]

Read more
Living in the Din of a Family Band
By     |    Jul 17, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Living in the Din of a Family Band

Living in the Din of a Family Band

I pulled into our garage, shut off the engine and started to climb out of my vehicle. Then I heard it. That sound that’s distinctly MY home. The sound is part saxophone, part recorder, part pan flute, part drum, part guitar mixed with baby stroller wheels rolling on the wood floors combined with periodic whining and the constant sounds of LEGOs being sorted. My house is loud: filled with people, music and life. Our home has always been filled with... [Read More]

Read more