I was recently typing out a flyer so that I could advertise and seek out new coaches for my youth sports leagues for our recreation department. What started out as a personal ad of characteristics and traits to be a coach, led to a complete reflection of my own journey the past few years. Just over three years ago, I began coaching youth sports in Temple Terrace; this also happens to be my place of employment.
In my second season coaching, I had the pleasure of coaching a great group of young men to a championship. While a successful season is always welcomed, it was the relationships that were built that will stand the test of time. There were two young men in particular on that team that I have stayed close with over the years: Michael and Robbie. I was initially drawn to them because they were bright, respectful, and nearly six feet tall at the age of 14.
For the last few years, I have worked with them in the fitness center on my lunch breaks and days off. We have slowly added over 30 lbs. to their frames. I have been an active spectator as they got their drivers licenses, first jobs, and now as they prepare for their senior year of high school. Seeing the success of these two young men, and far too many others to mention has provided me the most gratifying life experiences. I often wonder why I do not have a waiting list for people wanting to be a coach.
About this time a year ago, I became more involved with King’s varsity basketball team, assisting many of the same young men I have helped at the rec center for years prior. I also helped one of these young men transition to a new school. I tried to put him in touch with the key people that would make the process easier. Although it was a bumpy road at first, he got into the key classes needed, and quickly joined the basketball team at Strawberry Crest. Right about now, you are likely wondering what this story has to do with you.
Well, it is not about you, as it was not about me. If you begin the journey of being a coach with completely slefless intentions, then I guarantee you will be rewarded ten fold. What started for me as a fun way to give back by coaching at the rec center, has turned into two high school coaching positions, a coaching position for a semi-pro basketball team, and an offer to coach at a university in the fall. Joking aside, I am just slightly better than average at X’s and O’s. However, my ability to build relationships with young men, motivate them, and demonstrate a burning desire to want to help others has made me quite useful it seems.
If you are passionate about helping people, passionate about a particular sport, and interested in seizing every opportunity that comes with being a mentor to young adults, then please contact me so that I can start you down the rewarding path of coaching. Working with these young adults will teach you far more about yourself than you could possibly ever teach them.