As a student athlete all throughout high school and even some of my college years, I understand the struggles that can come from going to practice, conditioning, watching your diet and nutrition, going over film one time too many, and giving your heart out at every game. Recently though, I became a coach for a high school team and it put a lot of these points in perspective and I try to remember them every day. No matter what side you are on, I bet you can relate to at least one of these…
1. Every time you have 100% attendance at practice-you should consider that a victory, not the standard.
Going to practice is a challenge almost every time. It’s not that it is horrible once you get there–actually, it is sort of fun–but it’s leaving the comfort of your room after a long day at school and choosing to practice the sport and run instead of doing homework and spending time with family and friends.
2. I will never be as fast as the player that runs track. Ever.
Every season, there is that one girl/guy who is a two-sport athlete and who runs for fun. I won’t ever beat them so stop partnering me with them and telling me to “beat them”. It’s not happening and I’m not gaining any confidence or respect for myself.
3. Running for each person who is late seems a little unfair…can you control your friends? No? I can’t control these people either.
The people who show up on time are going to show up time regardless of if they know their teammates are running for them. The same goes for the type of person who is showing up late continuously- it doesn’t matter to them to know that their team is running while they are flirting with the boy at school.
4. I wish I could try defense, even though you think I’m an offender.
Yes, it is true that as a coach you have a better view of everyone’s skill and a broader perspective but just one game could I try defense? Even to just know what it’s like?
5. Sometimes, I have bad days where I don’t want to work hard. That should be okay.
I come to practice every day of the week, I give my all and I usually do it with a smile. Can’t I just have a free pass every once in awhile?
6. My parents pay hundreds of dollars for me to play this sport.
Most sports are at least one hundred dollars up front, not to mention the equipment costs.
7. *Insert sport name* isn’t always the most important thing in my life.
Of course, I love the sport I play and it is a huge part of my life, but it isn’t the only part of my life. Sometimes things are hard at home or my boyfriend just dumped me…
8. Losing in front of all my friends and family is punishment enough…
I hate losing just as much as you do–probably more since I am one of the reasons we didn’t win. Running sprints at the next practice doesn’t help and frankly, makes me resent you even more, than I do when we just do normal sprints.
9. Winning in front of everyone makes it all the practice worth it.
For all the eye rolls that you see and whining for every sprint you hear, every win is just proof that what you do is working. Keep it up, Coach!
10. I look up to you more than you know I do.
As a coach, you are one of the adults and role models that I spend the most time with. You spend 10+ hours a week with me- I can’t help but make you someone I look up to and admire.
Playing a sport is one of the best things you can do during your High School and College Career. It teaches you how to work hard, respect authority, and it’s fun to have a second family on the field…that doesn’t mean though that there aren’t things you complain about and don’t understand why your coach does. As a new coach, I say bring on the venting and complaining and channel your frustrations to the game! Happy playing!