If your life is similar to mine, you don’t relate seasons to the weather outside. You relate them to whatever sports your children play. It’s not fall… It’s soccer season. Winter? No… It’s basketball season.
My son was three when he joined his first soccer team at the YMCA. Man, was that cute! Luckily, my dad agreed to coach. As you can imagine, it’s not easy corralling a group of three year olds on an open field. He spent hours downloading age-appropriate games and “drills” the team could do at practices. There was even one game he ran around the field holding a baby doll because one of the girls wouldn’t play without her. (I took a picture so there would be proof.) My dad was a great coach!
Fast-forward 9 years… Between basketball and year-round soccer, my son has had over ten coaches. And I am grateful for all of them. Each one formed a special relationship with him, motivating him to work hard. They taught him new skills tailor made for his style of play. He’s been one lucky kid… except for this one season…
This particular season, his coach sucked… He was mediocre (I hate mediocrity). He showed up for practice, did some drills, yelled at the kids, looked at his watch, and hardly ever spoke to parents. It took everything inside me to let it go. You know the feeling, the instinct, the knee-jerk reaction to fix it… to pull your child outa there and DEMAND someone better. Because my child deserves the best(and he does).
But as the season went on, I began to realize that having this coach wasn’t actually a bad thing. My son began to reminisce on coaches past. We would talk at length about which coach did what better. It was kinda nice, actually. It even reminded me of how grateful I was for those incredible coaches who took time out of their busy schedules to enrich the life of my child.
Let’s face it. Most coaches love the game, the kids, the craft. It’s a calling for them, a passion. I mean, why else would someone volunteer their free time to deal with 15 plus kids? But if your child ONLY has great coaches, how will he know how special they are? How will he be able to appreciate all the extra time and energy those coaches put into making a season great?
There’s more to life than ball-handling skills. No, my child didn’t make a whole lot of gains on the field that season, but he gained perspective… appreciation… wisdom even. He may or may not grow up to become a professional ball player. But he will certainly grow up. And I want him to recognize when someone goes the extra mile for him… so that one day he will do the same for others.