Corona Virus Quarantine Day #39: For the Love of it. April 27, 2020
Today was a beautiful day in so many ways. We continue to balance working at home, schooling our children and being there for the athletes we coach. There are daily struggles in that, but as someone very wise reminded me today, our faith reminds us that our suffering is never in vain. We can always offer that suffering up for someone else and today I was reminded to do that. That is a gift that comes with being a Christian.
I listened to three seniors talk about their service projects today via zoom and it reminded me of how blessed I am to work at a school that values service to others. Listening to these 18-year-old kids talk about how their experiences transformed their lives…and knowing they really meant it is something I always look forward to each year. I would rather have seen these kids in person but nevertheless, it was still special to hear their stories via zoom!
Then I met with two of my favorite teammates, now coaches themselves and a group of young athletes at St. James to talk about what a good teammate is. The girls came up with words like unselfish, passionate, hard working, humble and driven. We hope to meet with these girls every week to discuss things like leadership, confidence and how to be an amazing teammate. Seeing the girls faces, hearing their voices and seeing their eyes light up when they talk about playing sports got me excited to get out on the court again in the fall! It’s the sports fix I needed for the day. Little did I know I was going to get another one later that night!
This evening rather than a movie night we went out to the driveway for a family “bike” ride of sorts. The kids were riding bikes, I read with Cooper for awhile and everyone was just content being together and outside. It was amazing.
I’ve been trying to get Fletcher to ride a big boy bike for about a year now. He got a Spider Man bike a few years ago that he’s obsessed with so I was afraid he’d never learn to ride a real bike as he wasn’t interested at all in the real deal.
I had gotten him on it once before and it was a total disaster. Both of us ended up mad! It was U.G.L.Y.
Tonight was a totally different story and I was reminded of why I love to coach kids. He got on that bike and minute one he was off (as I knew he would be). Fletcher’s pretty coordinated when it comes to balance (you should have seen him run down our stairs at 3 years old) so I knew it wasn’t a question of if he could do it…it was a question of whether he wanted to or believed he could.
I showed him a video a friend had posted of her son, the same age, doing it without any problem. As soon as he saw that, he went in the garage, got a helmet (put on shoes…because up to this point he’d refused to put shoes on) and got his bike.
It’s amazing how seeing his peer do it gave him the resolve to do it himself. Peer pressure is typically looked at in a negative light, and for good reason, most of the time. But this time, it was exactly what he needed. That extra push to prove to him that it wasn’t going to be an issue for him either. Mommy telling him that for months simply wasn’t enough.
He took off on that bike around our circle drive like he’d been doing it for years. The look of pride in his face, the smile, the laugh, the excitement his siblings had for him…perfection!
A few things here reminded me why I love to coach so much. First, it is always a goal of mine and Bryan’s to teach our players genuine joy for others when they do something good. That goes hand and hand with celebrating awesome! Fundamentally if you don’t have that on a team…you can’t be successful. Tonight, Fletcher’s team (in this case, his family) were all incredibly excited for him. They cheered him on, they patted him on the back and they told him they were proud of him.
We didn’t have to tell the kids to do this, they did it naturally…which is how it should be in sports…except it’s not. Society is teaching kids at a younger and younger age it’s all about numero uno and I see less and less genuine joy for others in coaching and it makes me sad. In recent years sports have turned into what can the sport give me rather than what can I give the sports. The joy of simply playing the game has been lost on many. Little kids possess this joy better than anyone else I know!
Teaching this love of the game and genuine happiness for others success is something we hope to influence and change in everyone who crosses our path. Fletcher’s team tonight gave him confidence that he could do something he wasn’t sure he could. His team tonight gave him pride in accomplishing it and they celebrated in his joy! He wasn’t alone in it and it was spectacular! I couldn’t stop smiling…neither could any of them. It was truly awesome.
When I put Fletcher to bed he kept saying I wish I could just go ride my bike all night instead of sleeping. Fiona stopped by and said “I can’t wait to watch you ride your bike tomorrow Fletchy”. His other siblings said similar things to him as well. Now…the kid is hooked.
Which brings me to my next point…It doesn’t take long to give a kid passion for something. Show them the way, celebrate their success, help them through their fears and give them lots of positive reinforcement. I am so fortunate that I get to do this for a living!
A good coach can change a game…a great coach can change a life! It may be cheesy but it’s true. I believe with every fiber of my being that it’s true and Bryan and I try to be great to everyone we get to coach in our lives! Tonight, in a small way, we changed little 5-year-old Fletcher’s life…because he grew in confidence and joy! That’s pretty stinking amazing!
I’m so grateful to be our own kids coach through life. Tonight I was proud of Fletcher for doing something he was unsure of doing. I was proud of his bravery with all eyes on him. I was maybe even more proud of his four siblings who acted like they were the ones mastering something spectacular. That was for sure the best part.
You can see the smile on his face on this one. So sweet!
Also, daddy built a ramp…too much fun tonight in the Dorsey driveway!
Pancakes for dinner for the win!
More sidewalk chalk fun too! Ellen is going to be 10 next week and she has more creativity than I have ever had!
Stay well my friends!