(Once A Coach, Always A Coach)
If coaching success is measured by how many times we mess up and start over again, then I’m an expert. I used to think, before I actually started coaching, that getting out on a field and throwing out a few drills was all that coaching entailed. Like punching time clock: show up – do the skills – go home and focus on something else. It was quite an awakening to realize coaching is more than something you do. It becomes a part of you, it grows, it brings incredible amounts of joy and sometimes frustration and sorrow. It is influenced by our own struggles and successes and we hope that it drives and builds the lives and dreams of those we have the honor to serve.
Just when I think I have it all figured out, the season is over, kids move on and I have to start all over again with a new team and new personalities and skills. When the playoffs are done, it becomes plain to see that coaching doesn’t end, it just renews itself and changes with our teams and with the perspective we gain from our kids w ho show up to practice, and from own lives and experiences .
I never anticipated the difficulty of saying goodbye to kids that have impacted my life in so many ways at the end of a season, or after four or more years of them being a big part of my daily thoughts, prayers and struggles together, how hard it is to recreate something amazing every season with new and changing personalities.
Through all the ups and downs in a coach’s life, we learn, we mess up, we frustrate (and become frustrated by) a few parents and players and mostly ourselves, and we find out exactly what we are made of. No matter how hard it can get, coaches are in it for life.
You can decide to walk away, retire, take a break, but you’ll never stop being a coach.