Its been a long time since I've been able to post and there have been some major changes in my life. I retired from my government job, started coaching high school, became a work from home parent, became a car-pool mom etc. So I decided to sit down again and update this blog.
I thought I'd take a minute to write about my passion and what impact its had on my life. For those who know me...and those who have recently met me, my passion is to coach. I love it. I love seeing kids I coached years ago at the store and they yell "Coach Mike". There is something about helping a child learn a skill, develop confidence, become part of something bigger than themselves. I'll never forget the moment when my high school team made the final out to win the Division 3 championship last year...I was so proud of the team, so proud of each and every girl who assumed a role, bought into a new culture, and battled and battled through each and every inning. There were kids who hardly played, but they brought leadership, and energy, and confidence. Its a season that will live in memory forever.
I've coached teams that barely won a game during a season, but I can still remember the faces of the kids when they got their first hit, or made their first catch. Those moments are priceless and I've been honored and blessed that so many parents have entrusted their kids to me. Its a trust that I don't take lightly. Each and every kid that I have coached becomes "mine" during that season, my kid, my daughter, my responsibility. Its not an easy task, and there aren't many that choose to take on that task. But its something that I, and select few, choose to do. We don't do this for a paycheck (trust me on this one), we don't do this for the accolades, we do this because we believe in what we do, we believe we have something to offer, and in my case, I want to pay back the incredible coaches I had growing up, and this is the best way I know how.
Another reason I love to coach, is that I get to spend precious time with my kids. They grow up so fast, and time just moves along, that those moments that we can share on the field is something you cannot give back. I've quit a job because they didn't want to give me the time to coach my kids. You don't get those moments back...and being able to share the successes, and ease the pain of disappointment. Those are moments and memories that will stay with you forever.
Unfortunately, there is a downside. There are times when you have to make tough decisions. And frankly, there are times where you simply blow it. You make a mistake that causes you to lose sleep, and you worry will you lose friendships. Sadly, this has and will be the case. The world of travel ball, and the pressures that come along with the ultra-competiveness of youth sports has ruined what would otherwise be great friendships. I have come to realize that this is a sad by-product of the world we have created. As I've become a coach at higher levels (high school, travel), the pressures increase. And unfortunately, not everyone understands that. You like to think that you are "Friends"...not "softball friends", but it happens. It saddens me, but you realize that you did your best, and you move on. Not every decision will be popular, and while I strive to make good decisions, I make mistakes. Every good coach does, but just like in other aspects in life, you learn from them and hope to not make similar mistakes in the future.
Luckily, the highs of coaching have far out-weighed the lows. I have made some amazing friends, and lost a few others. If you have a coach that has made an impact, send them a note, tell them. Every coach I know would much rather hear something like that that receive a gift...and when it comes time to leave a coach, be respectful, don't blast them on Facebook, don't bad mouth them. Remember that they tried their best, and they give up their time to hopefully help your child become a better player and person.
I'll try to keep this blog fresh and update it more often. If you found something interesting here...let me know. I appreciate any comments.
Take care of yourselves and your family and friends...
Until Next time