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Three cheers for the coaches

Jen Deinlein//June 6, 2023

Three cheers for the coaches

Jen Deinlein//June 6, 2023

We recently wrapped up another spring sports season in which both of my girls played two sports at one time, and while I am exhausted, I find myself with an ache in my heart. The sports days are long, but the seasons are too short. 

Perhaps I am feeling more sentimental than usual this season, as I recently “retired” from my own coaching job. Being a coach has always given me another level of appreciation for my daughters’ coaches, but this year I find myself feeling extra emotional about these folks. 

My daughters play rec sports, so every single one of their coaches are volunteers. Unless you are a big-ticket college or pro coach, even paid coaches are not accurately compensated for the amount of time they put into their craft, especially the mental load. But my girls’ coaches are also parents, and professionals in a wide variety of fields, who often go straight from their day job to practice, and have a number of responsibilities off the field. They are coaching for the love of it.  

Rec sports means low pressure – in the K-1 soccer division, we don’t even keep an official score. We’re randomly assigned to a team, so who knows what we’re going to get. Our coaches have found the right blend of fun and taking it seriously enough to build a solid foundation of skills. 

Permit me a moment of sentiment, and let’s give a cheer for the coaches. 

Cheers to the dad who takes on every school volunteer duty, including coaching K-1 soccer when his last kid is seven years removed from playing on that team. 

Cheers to the eighth-grader helping her dad and the high schoolers volunteering as junior coaches; they probably have no idea how much those little ones look up to them. 

Cheers to the coaches who send the post-practice or post-game check-in texts when your kid took a football to the nose to make sure she’s okay, or to tell you he’s proud of her, or just to tell you he thinks your young soccer player has potential. 

Cheers to the flag football coaches who welcomed my girls onto their teams and never once made them feel like football wasn’t for girls. 

Cheers to the coaches who recognize the older divisions want or need more of a challenge, and prepare them to play their sport on tougher levels while keeping it fun.  

Cheers to the coach with the academic approach – the kids looked forward to the “word of the week” (and so did I!) – for showing the kids that sports can teach lessons that enhance our lives off the field. 

Cheers to the coaches who couldn’t stop telling me what a highlight it was for them, seeing my daughter Annabelle’s joy (and surprise!) as she scored her first extra point. 

Cheers to the coaches who ran a play specifically to get my daughter Sophie her first touchdown and who all but exploded with cheers and pride. She watches that video to this day, not to see herself as much as to watch your reactions and hear you all loudly cheer for her.  

There are a million more things I could list, but I want to leave you with one last thank you to our coaches and all the coaches out there. Thank you for sharing your time and talent, and most importantly, your heart, with our kids.  

 

 

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