Written by Leslie Murrell
Photo by Bob Safar
Today, Lucy’s team finished their tournament. We had a great time watching them play. I am so proud of each of them. Really, when you look around at that giant tournament, you’re looking at a sea of families that pour a lot of time and money into having their daughter have the opportunity to play volleyball. To try new things. To be active. To struggle. To excel. Sometimes to win. But more importantly, to improve.
Chris and I high-fived each other, knowing that we’d watched our daughter do all of those things this week. All the time, the chauffeuring to practices, the stinky knee pads, all the tournaments, the kills, the shanks, the hits and the misses. All of that was worth our time, her time, and our money.
Today, as we all packed up to leave, we tried to thank Lucy’s coach. It’s tough to say so little when you’re thanking someone for so much. Lucy’s coach has a daughter who plays on a different team. So, instead of getting to watch her daughter play, she’s usually coaching mine.
We’re parents, and we know our kids the best, whether we know volleyball or not, clearly we have all the answers. But somehow, not by our doing, your daughter’s coach got your daughter to jump higher, move faster, set faster, block harder. To step back when she needed to for her team, and to step up when she needed you to be a play maker. To make fast crucial decisions. To go for a ball that at the beginning of the season was untouchable but now it’s just a run-through.
And your coach did all that after a full day’s work, snacking on a turkey sandwich on the way to practice. She (or he) missed watching her (or his) favorite playoff game, passed up tickets, put off her family vacation, and lost endless amounts of sleep for your daughter. She probably lost her voice a time or two as well.
She got certified, went to workshops, sent emails, and worked on lineups all in her free time. She bounced off ideas to her spouse about her team. She daydreamed at a traffic light about a new drill to try to make something work for your daughter’s team.
And this weekend, steps from Disneyworld, she spent four days in a gym, and pushed your daughter into the spotlight to shine. No matter the drama, or whether your expectations have been met, please, for all of humanity, thank your coach. Not like, the team card thing. I mean one on one, parent to parent, eye to eye – thank the coach. Thank her in person, send her an email, give her a handshake or a hug, and maybe send roses or a gift card or a snail mail card. Probably all of the above.
Because when you sit down to think about it – she’s worth your time to thank. After all, your kid was worth hers.
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