I managed football for 5 years and baseball for 2 years. Over the years I managed football with a total of eight other girls that had either quit or graduated. I managed football with two girls and one boy.
For both sports, the managers are responsible for keeping the boys hydrated and also getting out and putting away any equipment needed. Baseball managers also keep track of the playbook. It was difficult at first but now I know what an F9 (Fly out to right field) and P4 (Pop up to the second baseman) is.
I started managing because I realized that I am physically terrible at every sport there is and it was the best decision I ever made.
Here are a few reasons why...
The boys saw me as one of them. It didn't take much for other girls to make the assumption that I was only into managing because of the guys, but managing isn't just something any girl that is dating a player can do, even if they assume it is. Sometimes the boys had terrible attitudes and I hated being around them. They can be rude and treat you like you are just another guy.
Being treated as though I was one of them wasn't actually that bad because they didn't make me feel like I shouldn't be there. They also made me tougher. I am very sensitive but the guys made me learn how to take an offensive joke without bawling my eyes out every time.
Realizing guys gossip just as much as girls. I won't go as far to say that guys gossip more than girls, but half the rumors I heard, 65% came from the team. They can't keep a secret. I can recall a time my sophomore year when I was having a conversation with someone at the left end of the football field by the time I walked to the right side they had already heard what was said.
Also, being in a small place like a dugout, everything said is heard. Boys aren't slick like they try to fool you. They love juicy gossip too.
Knowing their personal lives. With gossip comes secrets and the guys didn't hide things, they boasted. Ladies if you hung out with one of the players over the weekend, I found out Monday at practice. Not saying it's bad or judging, just a fact. Guys love to talk about their personal lives, trying to one-up each other, and it's been that way for centuries.
Wanting to play myself. I cannot lie, I had many moments wishing I could be the one batting or tackling that guy to the ground. When the games got tough I was glad I wasn't the one out there, but when we were substantially winning and the games were nothing but pure enjoyment, that's when I wanted to play.
During baseball practice, the guy I managed with would play catch with me, and even though he wouldn't admit it, he knows I got better by the end of the season. At football practice, I tried to do almost everything they did, purely out of boredom, but also because I wanted to be good at sports like they were. They don't know how much I envied them.
Lastly, we became a family. I loved getting to know them and the coaches. We all became family in the many days and hours that we spent together. I saw the worst and the best sides of them during the game. Their girlfriends and their families got to see their reactions after the game, but I watched them slam their helmets into the dugout wall after striking out and I watched them cry at halftime while the coach encouraged them that the next half was their half.
I also saw them all charge back into the dugout, happy as can be, because they just congratulated their teammate at home plate after he hit a home run. Nothing compares to the mosh pit that happens on the football field when they'd score that 7 points that we needed to get us back where we needed to be. I'm so glad I was able to be apart of these families. They are the people that made me high school years worth remembering.