As another family fun weekend wrapped up with ice cream sandwiches at the dining room table, I began to reflect on a question that had been asked of me today. It was probably only the fourth time the question was asked. I know, I am killing all of my readers right now. Ok, the question. Do I miss coaching at all? Before I answer the question for my readers and tell you the response I gave my friend today, I want to express some hardcore feelings and emotions I have had for the better part of six months.
Ever since I can remember playing across the street from my house, I have always loved basketball. When I was in high school I had a varsity coach who was a great role model for me and I knew then I wanted to coach the game. From the very first coaching job I had, I always wanted my players to have the same drive and attitude as me. I wanted to teach players how to apply hard work and perseverance to real life and let them know that is how you reach your accomplishments.
I have been through a lot of ups and downs in coaching. I have been through two win seasons, and I have had sixteen win seasons. I have had teams be tournament champions and been close twice to moving on to regionals.
Recently I was asked to step down as a varsity coach after one of the best seasons the girls program has had in several years. Why? Simply because the parents didn’t like me and the lack of support from administration. An administration that needs to grow a backbone and tell the parents how it should be. Needless to say, I had many sleepless nights and I grieved. I became angry and wanted to scream. Today, I still carry a bit of a chip on my shoulder. I still carry a small chip on my shoulder because I did everything for those kids and never once wanted the glory for anything. I am a humble person and proud of my accomplishments, but I never took credit for anything my players did and I admitted my mistakes.
So, to answer the question that had been asked of me. Believe me and I am being honest when I say no, I don’t miss it. I don’t miss the late nights away from my family, the summer dates I spent away from my family, the phone calls and paperwork that had to be done, etc. I would say I miss the kids, but the good ones are far and few between in seems anymore. It’s hard to find young athletes with a work ethic.
I am sure some of you are doubtful I am telling the truth, but I assure you I am. I am not saying I don’t have any wounds, because I do and though they are almost completely healed, I have had to find refuge in something to help me express my feelings and put my work ethic to use. I still want to make a difference in students of today. I am choosing to do it through my classroom, instead of on the basketball court. I used to be chasing a dream of being a conference champion, or district champion in the coaching realm. Now I want students to walk out of my classroom, excited to read and write. My dream has changed. Writing has helped me see things so much differently since being part of the National Writing Project. What is my new dream? Those of you who know me understand what it is. Those who don’t, just keep your eyes out on the bookshelves.
Where one door closes, another one opens.