Parent, then Coach

Parent, then Coach
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When I launched Every Day, Getting Better back in 2013, I launched it as a coach first.  It was for me, after all a resource for coaches first, player’s second.  I had at that time coached for over 18 years.  I had stacks of books, quotes and poems all over the place.  My coaching journey had taken me from middle school, to high school and then in what seemed like a fitting return to my roots, back to middle school again.  I wanted to create a resource where coaches could visit to provide that piece of daily motivation to their players.

I was at that time coaching in a school where my son was a student.  Coaching had became less about the game and more about being exposing my child to amazing role models.  The following year, my middle child also started attending that same school, and my youngest became staple on the bench and in the locker room.  I honestly was at a point where I was phasing my way out of coaching, but still could not quite step away.  Something about how excited my boys were to lead a cheer or high five a player kept me going, but I was coaching for them and not for me.

As my coaching journey this winter brings me a new position, back at this high school level, my challenge to myself will be to be the parent first, and coach second.  Perspective is a wonderful thing.  Two weeks ago, as we filled our roster, we had to do what every coach dreads – we had to cut players.  We had almost 70 players try out for 48 spots – you do the math, not everyone is going home happy.  But failure is a good thing – we learn from it and it opens doors.  The moment was not lost on me however – I spent a lot of the downtime thinking about how in only four short years, my oldest would be in this room.  Sitting in the chair across from a handful of coaches, ready to hear his fate.  Was I doing enough, off the court, as a father to prepare him for that moment?

As my passion for coaching is reignited, my passion for parenting needs to always trump that.  Let’s be honest, somedays it is easier said than done.

This season is the first season where my oldest get the opportunity to play for his school.  As a fifth grader, this obligation is one that he does not take lightly.  He has been grooming himself for this for the past five years as my assistant coach.  As I encourage him to be the best player that he can be – the words that I find myself focusing on these days are simple. “I love to watch you play.”  You may remember the video that I posted a few days about on the same topic.  Well today I found another amazing resource for parents (and coaches) – and ironically it has the same title.

ilovetowatchuplay-logo

I Love To Watch You Play,

A place for parents seeking balance, sanity and an edge in the crazy world of youth sports.

Balance is that piece that all parents should be seeking.  It is important for coaches too – and most important for coaches who are parents.  I didn’t understand that piece a few years back.  As a coach I need balance, and I need to create an environment where my 3B’s will continue to thrive.  As a parent, I need to continue to push my children in a positive manner, cherishing the time they have left in youth sports.

More than anything, I need to always remember how fun it is to watch them play.

RW

 

Ryan is Chief Editor at Every Day, Getting Better. Ryan has been a basketball coach for over 20 years. Having coached at both the high school and middle school levels, Ryan felt it was time to pass on the stories and quotes that he has used to help motivate his teams. Ryan also contributes to the leadership development programs for the Sigma Chi Fraternity.
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