Friday, June 2, 2017

Dear Coach...Thanks for being the Unsung Hero!

Dear Coach,

Thank you! And not, "thank you" like I say to the person that holds open a door for me or thank you to the server at the restaurant. Thank you from the bottom of my heart.

I may not always show my appreciation, and I am sorry for that, but I want you to know that I see what you do and I know much of what you do goes unseen. I can only guess the number of hours you spend sending emails, creating line ups, rescheduling rain outs, prepping fields, and planning drills. And that's the work we don't see. On top of that, you run practices, get to games early, coach games, deal with our child's emotions after they miss the catch, hit or goal and play clean up for all of the stuff left on the bench.  You deal with parents when their kids don't 'play enough' or when preferred positions are not chosen.  You deal with the ref or ump when unfair calls are made and bite your tongue to set a good example.  You put up with the peanut-gallery of parents yelling from the stands, sometime unknowingly giving direction that differs from the one you gave when you sent our kid onto the field.

More than that, you are not just our child's sport coach, you are our child's mentor and life coach.  They watch you when they win and when they lose.  They see your attitude and how to handle an array of emotions. They receive your patience and also your tough love, when needed.  If our children make teams as they get older and move on it is your foundation that they are jumping from. That is invaluable.

Personally, we have had a lot of physical trials on our team this season, my child included.  I cannot be more grateful for the way you have handled it.  You have been patient with me and my son.  You have encouraged him and helped him to have remain part of the team even though he cannot always give 100%.  More, you have taught our children how to be compassionate to teammates. You have taught them that this sport is bigger than games won or lost, it's even bigger than athletic skills learned.

You have a family and a job and a whole life outside the field.  As a mom who sometimes struggles just to get the uniform clean and my kid to the field on time, I do not know how you squeeze it all in, but I am beyond appreciative that you do.  I am well aware without people like you that the rest of the children would not have a team to be on.

Thank you for stepping up to the plate and for committing to more than you may have meant to when you first volunteered.  Thank you for making such a difference in my child's life.  It is such a blessing to have someone who was a stranger to us not so long ago give such care about my child and our family.  Please know that even if we do not say it enough, there are a team of parents who appreciate you and are forever indebted to your time, skill, support and guidance.

I know your coaching salary check seems to always get lost in the mail, but I hope that you know we know how much you are worth.

Aimee and Parents of athletes everywhere