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An Ode To Volunteer Coaches: I Get It Now

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I get it now. I get why people do it. Being a coach, that is.

Now, I don’t want to misrepresent my coaching resume. Only recently, have I volunteered to coach for a couple youth sports teams in my small town community. I'm hardly qualified, other than having the ability to wrangle children.

I have, however, been fortunate to have had some really great coaches in my life, but for some reason, I never felt compelled to be one. I don’t really know why. I love to compete, and even more so, I love to win.

To transition from competitor to coach, seems like a very natural progression. In retrospect, and if I’m being completely honest with myself, I wonder if this specific transition, in and of itself, was hard? Likely, it was a huge shift in identity.

It’s not about me anymore.

I’m also not proud to admit, but I even liken it to a type of control issue. One where, you can control yourself, but you can’t control the actions, effort, success or lack thereof, of someone else.

It takes a selfless person to pour their energy into someone else, FOR someone else and for what? The hours are bad and the pay is even worse, so seriously, why would anyone do it?

And as soon as I asked myself that question, I was immediately able to answer it.

It’s for them.

I’ve learned that time changes you…and more than anything, being a parent changes you.

Your everyday norm is pouring energy into others who could care less about your identity formation and control issues, so I guess you could say parenthood probably prepares many to be coaches and you know what, I’m here for it.

I get it now.

I get why it is so fulfilling to see someone work hard to accomplish their goals.

I get why it is so fulfilling to give of yourself to try to make someone else better.

I get why it is so fulfilling to be a small part in someone else’s success and how that can foster a sense of joy that is nearly impossible to explain.

I didn’t get it before, but I get it now and I’m so glad I did.

A quick thank you to all my fellow volunteer coaches and for all the coaches I've had in my life.

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