Category Archives: sons

Why I Really Coach

As another season of youth football has come to a close, and it is my son’s last season as he will be entering high school next year, I am faced with the dilemma of, “is this my last season, too or will I coach again next year?”

Many people assume it is my last given my son’s age and I may take a break from it next year, but I don’t really think it is my last for one simple reason – Why I really coach.

Many youth coaches are out there because it is a way to be involved with their own kids.  They find it is a way to build a bond and have something special with their child.  In many cases if they did not step up to coach their might not be a team at all.  Unfortunately, you also see the ones who at the end of a game aren’t as concerned with the final score as they are with their own kid’s statistics.  They coach to insure that their kid is the star and is in every play.

There are also those coaches who do it because it fulfills their competitive needs.  They are former athletes themselves still in great shape, but are too old to be allowed on the field themselves.  They are living vicariously through their players until the Redskins call.  They like the rush they get from winning and the power they feel which is something they don’t get from their jobs.

Then are those who really do have something to share and want to make a difference.  They see coaching as a way to pass along some of their knowledge and help give something back to the community.

So, which one am I?

I definitely have done it to be involved with my kid.  I have done it not to make my kid the star but in one case to prevent that “one dad” from ruining the season for everyone by him making his kid the star at the expense of everyone else.  I do love the thrill of winning but, alas, I have not maintained my athletic physique and if the Redskins were to call me, it would be to be a food taster for Dan Snyder.

I have done it to give something back to the community and make a difference in a kid’s life but I think I am unique in why I think I can or should  do this.  I had a great teacher and coach growing up.   My Dad.

He was my baseball coach all through Little League.   When he passed away several years ago, at his funeral I saw several men who I hadn’t seen since high school or even some since we had played Little League together.  Each one was there because my dad as their Little League coach 30 years earlier had touched their lives in a way they never forgot.  Several of them shared stories about how he had helped them or how as an adult they had remembered something he taught them or said to them that got them through difficult times.  All things that I didn’t know or just took for granted.  When I saw the impact he had on so many young people by just being a dad who was a volunteer baseball coach, I knew I had to follow his example.

This is one of many reasons I am so passionate about what coaches do and say around players and the special treatment gifted athletes are given.  Kids are impressionable and like it or not they do notice.  Winning is important but it is not why kids should be playing and why coaches should be coaching.  It is not the win/loss record that will have a lasting impact.

Do I think any of the kids I have coached will show up at my funeral one day?  I doubt it.  But I would like to think that when one of them comes to a crossroads in their life (i.e. rob the Smoothie King or not?) they will think about something I did or said and make the right choice.

Just like my Dad.

 PS:  I just came across this article from The Washington Post Good Coaches Win in Other Ways”.    Ditto, Bingo, Exactly…..

Side Note:  Jasmina Parazic, who is pictured in the article, coached my daughter this year in Field Hockey.   A great expereince for her and now she is hooked on the sport!

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Old for the Holidays

Thanksgiving has come and gone.  The house was full and the noise was deafening.  Plenty of loud music, television, arguing, laughter and best of all conversation.

All four of my children were home for Thanksgiving.  It was the first time in three months that all six of us had been together.  We only had  one night where it was just the six of us as relatives began arriving during the week.   But as I sat at the dining table that night and looked around, I had that eerily warm feeling.

Yes, I was soaking in the fact that our family was complete and also contemplating that these moments will be fewer and fewer as the years go by, but what really got to me was how old this made me feel.  Me, old…..how could it be?

I was having the thoughts that my parents had, and would creep me out, years ago whenever my brother, sister and I were all home at the same time.   I would catch my mother and father both staring at us and one another, soaking it all in and then getting a little self satisfied smile on their lips.  To be honest it was creepy and well, it made my parents look and seem old. 

I only turned 45 two weeks ago!  How can I feel so old?  I guess I feel old because I see so much of my parents in myself.  It is funny how we view our parents through life.

When you hit your twenties you realize your parents aren’t as old as you thought nor as stupid as you thought.

When your own children are infants you realize how much your parents really care for you even though you may find it hard to believe that anyone could care for another human being as much as you care for your own child.

When your children become teens you reliaze how much your parents reallyknew and how much they really must have trusted you.  (I can’t believe they let me do some of the things they let me do).

But when your children start to leave home, when the family unit becomes dispersed, what do you think of your parents?   You begin to understand they had a choice at that point.  Become old and let life slip away or take on a new spirit that involves putting themselves first.

I feel old.  I see life slipping away.  Another milestone reached, another moment in time that signifies life marches on and we get one step closer to finishing our time and jobs on this earth.  We live, we love, we procreate, we teach, we raise, we release and then we fade away to the end.

I have to shake this.  I am not old and I am not ready to be old.  I need to find what is in life that will help keep me young…….It is not a car or a girlfriend or any other stereo typical mid-life crisis cover up.

I have until Christmas.