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For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

Summertime is in full swing here in the metro area and that means that many of you are also super busy with sports and family fun. Connie, from our iFamilyKC Mom Squad team, shares her thoughts today on coaching her kids’ sports teams. Maybe her thoughts will encourage some of you to do the same next season. Take a look…

coaching

For the Love of the Game: One Mom’s Thoughts On Coaching

It’s that time of year when I feel like all of my evenings are spent at the ballpark.  My calendar is completely full of game times and fields.  While this can sometimes be overwhelming, and even a bit exhausting, I love it.  Let me say that one more time: I love the chaos and craziness that is coaching.

Last summer, I coached both my son and my daughter’s t-ball teams.  There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.  So, this summer, when my son moved up to machine pitch and I decided not to coach him any longer. I was looking forward to just being able to watch and enjoy and coach my one team.  Well, that didn’t happen.  I had so many kids I knew coming back, that I am now coaching two t-ball teams and helping run the dugout for my son’s machine pitch team.  This means coordinating three teams schedules, practicing with two teams, making sure my son gets to his practices and lugging around two teams worth of gear in my car all summer.  And I love it.

“There’s just something about the little guys that I adore.”

There are times when a practice gets a little crazy, or when a drill I am trying to run doesn’t go so well when I think “what in the world am I doing?” or “this is like herding cats!”  But then one of those cats comes running over and says “Coach! Did you see what I just did?” and I am sucked right back in.

As a coach of the youngest group of kids that play, I have to constantly remind myself, they are 4-7 year olds, they are not going to be able to make every play.  In fact, some of them may not make a play all season.  My job is to teach them the basics, and make sure they’re having fun.  What I didn’t count on when I started doing this again three summers ago, was how much fun I would have along with them.

“My job is to teach them…and make sure they’re having fun.”

Before I was married and had kids, I coached my step-niece in t-ball for three summers.  It was all girls and it was in my hometown.  We had so much fun.  I taught them to get their gloves in the dirt and keep their elbows up when they swung the bat, and they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.  I was invited to one of those sweet girls 13th birthday party this summer and was so touched that she thought of me and even remembered me.  There was no way I was missing that party.

“…they taught me how to laugh at mistakes and enjoy the chaos.”

Just this past week one of my smallest kids on one of my teams came up to bat and said to me “Coach, I’m going to hit the ball really hard tonight.”  He always has been a very consistent hitter, making good solid contact, but being one of the smaller kids on the team, always got a single. After I checked his stance to make sure he was ready to hit, he swung through and just nailed the ball.  It went past all of the infielders and through the legs of the outfielder.

I was so excited I started jumping up and down and yelling for him to “take two!”  He made it safely to second base and I started dancing at home plate.  I had tears in my eyes and I was still wound up about it at 10:30 that evening.  There is just something magical about seeing a kid succeed and enjoy the game.

Coaching is sometimes totally frustrating.  Kids get tired, and bored and sometimes don’t want to listen.  Some drills don’t work the way I thought they would in my head.  And sometimes I am just tired.  But it is all so worth it.  It’s so worth it to see a kids face light up when they get a good hit or make a good stop.  Its so worth it to hear a kid say “Thanks Coach!”  I am not sure how long I will continue to coach my daughter.  Sometimes I wonder if I don’t just love coaching because I love the little ones.  We will find out eventually, but for the time being, I am going to enjoy every second I get to spend with my crazy t-ball players.

From iFamily to Yours,

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