This fall is different for me for the first time since 1982 when I was five years old. I am not participating or coaching a fall team sport. From 1982 through 1998 I played soccer on youth, high school, and collegiate teams during the fall season. Following graduation from Salisbury University in May 1999, I returned to SU for grad school and became an assistant coach with the Women’s Field Hockey and Lacrosse teams. Following these experiences which I greatly valued, I have coached high school, college, and youth soccer teams every fall season since 2001…until now. NOW I teach Sweet Feet Soccer Classes to students between the ages of 2.5 and 8 years old. These classes are amazingly fun at introducing movement education and soccer and are generally complete by 4:30 most days but….
What do I do between 4:30 and 6:30 each day as for the last 34 years, I have participated or coached a team on some level throughout the entire fall season at these times? Not to mention weekends are off…
Questions that continually appear in my mind as I go into this new stage in my life…
- Will I feel unfulfilled in my life by not coaching a team this fall?
- Will Sweet Feet Soccer Classes fill the emotional camaraderie a coach feels when working with a team in training and games over the course of an entire season?
- Can I financially afford to throw all my eggs in the Sweet Feet Soccer basket and not be a soccer club director, teacher, or coach a youth soccer team?
- Will my wife and family understand what I am going through in the hopes we add greater fulfillment, happiness and meaning to our relationship?
I still have the passion to coach teams and provide opportunities for growth, development, and the tactical progressions a coach witnesses over the course of a season. The feelings of excitement, anticipation, and pursuit of a common goal between coach and athlete are one of a kind and is a craving that drives coaches to put in hour after hour of coaching, recruiting, and administrative work. I still have the passion…but,
I cannot get 4:30 to 6:30 back in the future
Now for the first time in as long as I can remember, family takes priority. Taking Owen fishing, Avery to the pool, being available for Courtney, and welcoming our new baby boy Brooks into the World will all be happening between 4:30 and 6:30 as well as Saturdays. I am not some kind of hero family man that does not think about coaching a soccer team much of the day when I talk to others about it, see it on television, or see it in person. I still believe I have team coaching in front of me but I am working throughout this fall in all that I do to be PRESENT…to be their for my family in all ways possible.
Team coaching…will be available in future years…youth at its best from 4:30-6:30 and on Saturdays will not. I am extremely lucky to have this opportunity and will not and cannot pass it up. Thank you Courtney, Owen, Avery, and Brooks for providing the ultimate meaning to my life.
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