One of the coaching development organizations that I am a member of, recently posed the question to its members, “why do you coach?”. As various coaches submitted their very noble and honorable reasons, I found it increasingly more difficult to winnow my answer down to anything that would make sense to someone reading my reply. In fact, the answer is so like the game itself in that there are degrees and nuances that by themselves don’t seem like much but when taken in context with the whole, have very deep and significant meaning or effect.
While I certainly do not wish to make light of the value of working within a group dynamic to reach common goals or the satisfaction that coaches feel when their players “get it”, I can’t help but feel that so much of why we coach is intangible and for me, is beyond my ability to put into mere words. So the best I have been able to come up with to date is simply, I coach because I have to. It is so much of who I am and what completes me on a daily basis that I am not sure I could stop, even if I wished to.
Shortly, several players that I know, will begin new chapters in their lives as they head to college. This is an exciting time, one full of doubts, uncertainty and a host of other variables for these players and families. The chapters that have come before now for these players have had many authors and they have all had influence on these players lives. Now it is time for them to go and begin writing their own chapters and experience all that is out there awaiting them.
I have received notes and comments of appreciation from some of these players (I know some of you read this so yes, pay attention) and I am humbled by their gratitude but the truth is, as they feel compelled to express their thanks to me, there is so much that I have received in the exchange that I cannot begin to say thank you for. How does one express gratitude for what one cannot articulate?
As they said their thanks, it struck me how for the most part, they all said it in such a way as to signify an ending of sorts. Interesting in that this is their perception, as mine is one of new beginnings for them. We all see things from our unique vantage point I guess. All I can do is let them know that I am still here to listen when they need some one to talk to, be supportive when they need support , challenge them when they become apathetic and hopefully, hear about those moments when life all comes together for them.
Why do I coach? Because players have gifted me the opportunity to share in their life’s journey, even if it is just for a while.
find your passion, live your dream