From time to time I want to share with all of you, my volleyball family, about my heart for coaching.
This week: Why we do what we do.
A couple weeks ago we had our first team dinner of the year and I shared a part of my story with the boys who were there and I want to invite each one of you into my life as well by sharing that same part of my story…
I lost my dad just over two years ago to cancer. It was sudden and unexpected.
When I was a kid, I played Pop Warner football right here in Escondido. I remember gathering with my teammates in the end zone at the end of the game to listen to what our coaches had to say. I’m sure they were passionate and motivating speeches, but I don’t remember much of what they said.
As a junior playing in the Hawa’ii State volleyball playoffs, I was a member of a successful team and played for a great coaching staff. They, like my Pop Warner coaches, would gather us together after each game and provide positive and encouraging feedback...I think, I can’t really remember.
As a senior, I played for one of the smartest and most technical coaches I have ever been around. His talks were animated as they were exciting, but I couldn’t really tell you what he said aside from a few key phrases that he repeated all the time.
What I remember from my Pop Warner days is walking to the car with my dad and sharing every detail about the game even though he was a coach and saw it all first hand. I remember the car ride home and talking about how much fun I was having and asking him about next week’s opponent.
I remember looking up in the stands just before my first serve in the Hawai’i State volleyball playoffs and seeing my dad sitting in his usual spot: top right corner. I remember going up to him after the game and getting a big ol’ hug and telling him I didn’t know he was coming. He responded, “I wouldn’t miss it!”
I remember him saying, “Son, I am proud of you,” and giving me a hug after every game whether we won or lost.
To this day, I still find myself looking to that specific corner of the stands and even during the loudest and craziest games I can still here him saying, "Son, I am proud of you." It is a steadying voice that helps me keep this game in perspective; it's why I can smile or remain calm during tough games.
It is because I remember these things that I keep my post game talks with the boys short. Because I remember, I encourage your boys to go and greet you with a big sweaty hug and to tell you that they love you.
Because I remember, we look to provide time and space for you to make memories with your sons. It looks like a little bit longer time in the gym on the way to the car or getting out of the gym a little bit sooner so you can all go to dinner.
As often as you remember, embrace the sweaty hugs and tell them you love them too and remind them after every game (especially the losses) that you are proud to be their parents, families, and friends.
Post game talks are good. Time with you is better.
This is why we do what we do,