Tagged with "passion"
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.


 
Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners
By     |    Mar 6, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

Genius Hour and Growing Lifelong Learners

I want my kids to love learning for the sake of learning and to hunger for knowledge. School projects that actively enforce those principles  are my favorite. Genius Hour is a prime example. The idea behind Genius Hour has been utilized in corporations to increase productivity. Employees are given a set amount of time each week to work on pet projects in their field. Google has seen success with this route. Gmail anyone? I’m more motivated to apply myself to... [Read More]

Read more
40
By     |    Feb 20, 2017
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on 40

40

Forty years…that seems like a lot of life and yet not much at all. I won’t shed tears over this milestone. I’ve been celebrating this birthday since last month when we visited California. We spent my birthday weekend snowshoeing in Grand Teton National Park. I said goodbye to my 30s and hello to this new decade with multiple adventures. Growing older has taught me to make experiences happen, and I’m abundantly grateful to have another year of living written in... [Read More]

Read more
For the Love of Olympics
By     |    Aug 11, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on For the Love of Olympics

For the Love of Olympics

Barcelona 1992. That was when my passion for all things Summer Olympics began. I watched everything I could in those pre-Internet days and stood in the grocery store reading magazine article after magazine article devouring every athlete profile tidbit I could. Gail Devers, Jennifer Capriati, Derek Redman and the basketball Dream Team were brought up in conversation as if they were friends of the family. Not much has changed in 22 years. My passion for the Olympics runs deep, and... [Read More]

Read more
Learn Something New: Adult Ballet
By     |    Jul 7, 2016
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Learn Something New: Adult Ballet

Learn Something New: Adult Ballet

Each year I make a short list of books to read, places to visit and a new thing to learn. I manage to finish the book list and cross off places we visited. Then there’s the thing to learn. For three years, the new thing has remained the same: take a ballet class. It sits at the bottom of the list with me making no attempts to make it a reality. The excuses piled up. I’m almost 40, surely too... [Read More]

Read more
Learning from the Center
By     |    Sep 25, 2015
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Learning from the Center

Learning from the Center

Football. It’s all-consuming in our house in the fall. The boys play it, talk about it and watch it. After school is scheduled around when, where and who needs to be at what field with two boys playing tackle football and one playing flag football. It’s our fault they’re passionate about the sport. We’re the ones who opened that door years ago. I was a newspaper sports reporter before I was a mom. Sports was what I watched, researched and... [Read More]

Read more
Summer Reading with Children
By     |    May 15, 2015
Posted in: reading     |    Comments Off on Summer Reading with Children

Summer Reading with Children

The school year is winding down and papers are arriving home with ways to keep children reading over the summer months to avoid the summer slide. Public libraries run reading programs along with publishing companies and book stores. There are quite a few options, more than I remember as a child. Reading is part of our family lifestyle. We have bookshelves, book baskets, book bins and use books for decorating. We’re known to ask our children to put the book... [Read More]

Read more
Confidence Built Through Music
By     |    May 6, 2015
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Confidence Built Through Music

Confidence Built Through Music

Sometimes my feelings seem too much to handle. Life hits me hard, the good along with the bad. Yesterday was intense, in a fantastic way. I was weepy on-and-off and spent parts of the day with a big grin on my face. I watched our middle son stand in front of several groups and play a solo on his flute. His band, from a local performing arts center, was touring schools talking about instruments and music opportunities for the summer... [Read More]

Read more
When Serving Seems Like Taking
By     |    Oct 28, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on When Serving Seems Like Taking

When Serving Seems Like Taking

“You’re always helping and never with us.” Truth from my nine-year-old filled me with guilt, even if “never” was a bit of an exaggeration. We were talking about the upcoming annual fall festival at the elementary school my two youngest boys attend. I was telling them about some of the games and how they’d have to help daddy get costumes together before they came up to the school that night. I’d already be up there helping. That prompted the small... [Read More]

Read more
We’ll Go With ‘Passionate’
By     |    Sep 24, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on We’ll Go With ‘Passionate’

We’ll Go With ‘Passionate’

B: “Mom I think people would say you’re passionate.” It was 7:15 a.m., and we were heading out of the driveway to get my tween to school. I’ve learned he almost always picks the most random times to bring up topics that need a little work to get through. Deep breath. Me: “Would you call me passionate?’ B: “For sure. When the coaches say to fire up, I think about how you are sometimes.” Seriously, kids miss nothing. Me: “I... [Read More]

Read more
Reeling in Frazzled Emotions
By     |    Sep 21, 2014
Posted in: uncategorized     |    Comments Off on Reeling in Frazzled Emotions

Reeling in Frazzled Emotions

My emotions have been raw this week. I feel unsteady and frazzled. I took two phone calls this week from people telling me of the unexpected deaths of two people I served side-by-side with on different boards. They shared my passion for children, literacy and our community. They were here one day and gone the next. I’ve struggled to find peace in what I don’t understand. I stood in my front yard and listened to children playing during recess at... [Read More]

Read more
Parenthood Not Quite Like I Imagined
By     |    Sep 16, 2014
Posted in: parenting     |    Comments Off on Parenthood Not Quite Like I Imagined

Parenthood Not Quite Like I Imagined

It was 9:10 p.m. We had been at the football field for three hours. The sun had set long ago, and the air was chilly. I stood with two friends and my husband when we heard the referee say the words we had been longing for, “That’s time coach.” Followed by an addition we could have done without, “There are eight plays left. Do you want to play them?” Ugh. I wanted to answer for them, ” No. Just make... [Read More]

Read more