Are you a coach? Do you know one? If you’ve ever wondered what value a coach provides in the lives of those they invest their blood, sweat and tears in teaching, guiding and inspiring, then you may appreciate my insight.
He was known as Coach Ken, a family man with two daughters who worked hard in his full time position as a business director. I was thirteen years old, had one season of recreational softball under my belt and I was drafted to play on Coach Ken’s softball team alongside his daughters.
From day one Coach was watched like a hawk by every member of our 12 player team.His mood, energy level, delivery of direction, motivational cues and attitude towards umpires and opposing teams became the role model we would strive to emulate as we developed our skills.
He was a powerful man in the position he held as a volunteer coach, but I’m not sure he ever really grasped the impact he made on every life he touched on that softball field. Patient but firm, confident but humble and his whistle, well you didn’t want it to be directed at you, as it was a clear sign of disappointed as if he was saying “get your head in the game and stop making errors!”
As a coach he understood the game, but even more, he understood how to help a group of girls feel a part of something greater than themselves. He embodied team spirit and unity and expected every player on the team to understand that no matter the position they played, the experience they had or the mistakes they make along the way, each of the 12 girls that made up our team were a valuable asset. You see Coach Ken was so much more than a volunteer parent who helped a group of girls learn how to catch and hit a ball, he was a leader we looked up to and a teacher we aspired to become.
Just like Coach Ken, I believe you or the coach you know is an amazing mentor that serves so many valuable purposes. Each and every day putting in time and energy to make a difference in the lives of others as they watch, admire and appreciate the role model they’ve been given.
To all the coaches, teachers and mentors, thank you for being there and for all you sacrifice to make an impact on those around you. From a player on the field and now Mother to two softball players, not only do I appreciate all you do, but I know every parent does too, even during moments you might think otherwise
Thank you Coach Ken and every Coach, Teacher and Mentor – You Make a Difference!
Author: Alyssa Tiberi