A lot of weeks, I find myself scrolling through the different sections of The Odyssey searching for an idea to write about. Recently I've noticed in particular, a lot of people write about their bad experiences with sports and sports coaches. While I see why people write about their bad experiences, because for the most part child coaches should be helpful, it has helped me realize how much I took my good experience for granted.

Whether you only spent a year or so in a sport, or maybe you're like me and you dedicated a portion of your life to one, you came in contact with a sports coach somewhere along the line.

Thankfully, I had instructors who went above and beyond to make my gym a second home. They were understanding in the times that I couldn't make it in to practice for a couple of days, and they also helped bust my butt when I was there for upwards of twenty hours a week.

When it came down to it, in my final year of training, if I wasn't at school I was in the gym, only going to my house to sleep until the next day. The amount of emotions and life events my coaches endured from not only me, but some of my other team members, as well as themselves, was truly incredible.

These women helped work through mental blocks, fears, and injuries within the sport and stress from homework, family, and relationships outside of it. I really don't think I can count the number of tears I shed, both good and bad, in their presences and on their shoulders.

Some nights I remember staying for up to an hour and a half after practice ended at 9 P.M. to talk. Of course I was fine with it because I was the one wanting to talk, but my coach stayed with me until 10/10:30 P.M. to make me feel better. That was her late night and her time she gave to me to make sure I would be okay. I won't forget that.

Looking back, it's moments like that where I realize how lucky I was. I loved coming to practice because they made the gym environment a second home. I loved being around them because they became my second parents. As do most, I started my sport when I was young. My coaches helped teach me responsibility and dignity as well as to always be happy with my best effort.

I appreciate the things they've done for me and the efforts they made with me, I am beyond grateful.