Important Lessons From A Coach

Are we raising our kids to win at all costs?  Or are we teaching them to value the importance of teamwork? Do we realize how our words and actions influence our kids way beyond right now?

Photos courtesy of Tony DeBellis.

As I watched my daughter play her first soccer game of the season on Saturday, I was able to see this clearly.  As always, my mind connects it to education. 
To give you a brief background, my daughter decided one day she was going to play soccer.  Please know, I have played every single sport growing up, except soccer!  Not my thing.  She began playing a year ago, and we soon fell in love.  Not so much with the sport, but I realized it was the coach and team.  My not-so-fond-of soccer attitude stemmed from a few things.  For one, I didn’t have a clue about the rules. The bigger issue I had with soccer was that I completely disagreed with the offsides rule! In my opinion, as a basketball player, you need to hustle back to protect your goal. I know, I could be missing the point completely, but my daughter loved this game so I needed to get past that.   
My sweet girl running to me after the game so happy. You see, she LOVES the game!
Her coach, Coach Doug, is one of those incredible people who values teaching kids the important things in life.  The importance of sportsmanship, respect, fun, compassion, confidence in trying things, and how hard work will pay off.  After watching the first practice, I told my husband, “This guy is a great teacher!”  
He is patient.  He pushes them to be their best.  He values their input.  He asks the kids to tell him when they feel like they have a strength in a position and want to give it a try.  He instills his energy and passion into these young girls.  Most importantly, I have seen him intentionally put them in positions to see their hard work pay off.  Even if it meant they ended up losing the game.  Don’t get me wrong, he never intended or wanted to lose.  (No one wants that!)  He made this intentional decision knowing it was important that they saw their hard work from practice pay off!  This is what would drive them forward as a team.  Why?  Trust.  They trusted Coach Doug.  
You can guarantee it paid off.  Maybe not by winning that game, but as they continued on they took those opportunities to have faith in what they knew was right.  I can promise you, THIS is what keeps my daughter coming back each season!  He is a man of admirable character and it is influencing these young girls more than they know!  Someday they will, and they will go back to thank him.  
This is our group of happy girls before the game.  Can you see how much they love each other and playing?
On Saturday, we were amazed at how much the girls had grown since last season. We were amazed at how awesome their new uniform colors looked.  I mean, come on, fashion still matters. πŸ™‚  However, the most amazing thing we saw was something that took looking a little deeper to see.  It was the way these girls performed on the field like a team that knew the importance of teamwork.  No one wanted to be “the star.”  They wanted to pass to their teammates when it made sense.  They celebrated each other’s successes.  They had FUN! They showed compassion for the other team.  They were allowed to try different positions on the field, as Coach doesn’t want to run up the score on any team.  This team wanted to win, but, win together as a TEAM. And they did.
Celebrating each other!
The “teacher” watching the “students” drive their own learning. πŸ™‚
So, as I sat there once again thinking, Wow, what a great coach!  He is such an incredible teacher of many things for these girls – my mind connected this to education.
Isn’t this what we desire in our classrooms?  
  • Kids that collaborate and work together so all kids are successful.  
  • Kids that sacrifice being the star, so that as a group they all contribute to the win.  
  • Kids that encourage and build each other up.  
  • Kids that have input in the learning.  
  • Kids that have a voice and can tell you their strengths and can also identify their weaknesses
  • Kids that understand how to use their weaknesses and are able to work with others to set goals to develop them.  
  • Mindsets from both kids and teachers that allow for success and positivity in the classroom!

You better believe it is! Coach Doug shows this as the Teacher to his soccer students in every way that I strive to show as the Teacher in my classroom with my Students.
My mother repeatedly tells me that teachers and coaches have an incredible impact on the lives of every child they encounter.  She is right.  Children look up to their teachers and coaches.  Every word that is spoken to a child will forever be etched in their hearts.  I feel so blessed that my daughter has Coach Doug as the coach in her life etching positive words into her heart and building up her self-confidence.  
One of my favorite pictures from the day!  Read the caption to see why. πŸ™‚
This mama wearing the “Soccer Mom” hat her daughter picked out for her!
Guess this shows that I am starting to love the game. πŸ™‚

Author: Bridget Visser

I am a passionate educator advocating for ALL Children! Love all things around Student Voice, Literacy, Technology, Innovation, Student Design, and Empowering Others in positive ways! I am a learner, energized by connecting with other educators sharing their learning!