Those of my readers who know me personally, know I am a husband, father, soccer coach and an equestrian coach for the Special Olympics. Outside of husband and father..coach is probably my favorite title. I truly love to participate in the lives of young athletes.
(Yes that is really me and my U12 Renegades)
Coaching started out with me wanting to spend more time with my son. He is the stud in the front row on the very far left (kneeling) However it turned in to much more than that. I sincerely began to love coaching. Now so you know, I never played soccer. I played American Football and was a very good wrestler. So I understand the mechanics but not the intricacies of the game. Once soccer season was over I began coaching Special Olympics through Rideability. A therapeutic riding center that works with the disabled and special needs, which also is the training facility for Special Olympics.
(Yes again that is really me preparing a horse for a rider)
Coaching has become such an important part of who I am. Now for the problem.
As I admitted above. I never played soccer. And now 13 young men and their families look to me for guidance. These young men deserve the best. But what if I am not the best? For years we heard the old cliche, it doesn’t matter if you when or lose. It’s how you play the game. But at the U12 age group, competition gets intense. People want to win. Heck I want to win.
Is it possible that even with the best intentions I am letting the team down by not being an actual soccer coach/player? We always mange to win a game or two. We have even managed a few playoff runs. But the nagging question is, do they deserve better?
I have never been one for self doubt. But when your team walks off the field head down. You can’t help but feel their pain. As a coach you build them up. You tell them great game. We will get better. But then you wonder where you failed them.
I am not writing this as some feel sorry for me cry for help. Losing is a fundamental part of life. But the question remains….even with the best intentions, can you let down a team by not letting them get a better more experienced coach. Now being that we a recreation league there is no guarantee that the next coach ( a volunteer like me) will have more experience. Or that a coach will even be available. But still it worries me that somewhere along the line, my desire to coach as exceeded my ability to coach.
Now all that being said. I highly recommend coaching as a volunteer. Being a part of the kids life will change yours. You can have a great impact and not even know it. The little ones (Under 8 for sure) Truly just want to play and have fun. As a volunteer you can change the direction of someones life. Don’t be scared to sign up. The worst thing you can do is do nothing.