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then who will?

This is one of those weeks where I’m simply fired up.

I’m fired up about volleyball.

I’m fired up about coaching.

I’m fired up about my players.

I’m fired up about my program.

It really all comes down to one simple question, then who will?

It makes me sad to see what the world of athletics and coaching has become. To see a world that meant so much to me become a world that is hurting so many others devastates me. I feel like the world of sports has lost its “why.”

Am I competitive? Of course.

Do I love sports? Absolutely.

Do I think sports build character and teach kids a multitude of life skills? Most definitely.

But it feels like the world of sports has almost become unhealthy. At what point do we step back and remind ourselves that these are KIDS?

This newfound intensity of sports has blurred the most beautiful part of coaching. The relationships. I have two goals as a coach; make kids fall in love with the sport and teach them to be kind human beings. While I work everyday to help my girls become better volleyball players, I also work everyday to help them become better humans.

These are my athletes, but they are so much more than that. They are children. They are students. They are friends. They are sisters. They are daughters. They are humans. It feels like we’ve forgotten that.

This week as I met individually with all of my athletes I kept coming back to this idea of “then who will?”

Some girls cried in our one-on-one meetings, for all sorts of reasons. Gratitude. Frustration. Overwhelmed. All valid reasons. I told them every one of them, “it’s okay to cry,” because who in their life has told them that? Who has told them that there is beauty in tears? It’s an expression. It’s a feeling. It’s YOUR feeling. We so often invalidate students, athletes, kids, and adults feelings. My current athletes are teenagers. They’re still learning how to regulate their emotions and it’s my job as their coach to help guide them through that process.

Every day they step into the gym and not everyone is ready to play volleyball. They’ve had a bad day. Something happened at home. They got in a fight with a friend. While volleyball is important, so are their emotions.

Coaches get so caught up in the sport sometimes that they forget that these kids need love. They need to hear “I’m proud of you.” They need to be taught to respect all officials, no matter how bad they call a game. They need to be taught skills to balance and cope with a busy school, work, and sports schedule. They need to be told that their feelings matter. They need to be taught that sports aren’t their entire identity. They need to be shown how to be a good and supportive teammate. They need to be reminded to take care of themselves. They need to be told they matter.

Because at some point, this sport won’t be everything to them and if we don’t teach our athletes these things, then who will?

Trust Yourself


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