If You Are A Girl And Your Dad Is Coach, This Was Your Childhood

If You Are A Girl And Your Dad Is Coach, This Was Your Childhood

To say my life has revolved around sports is an understatement.

A daughter's first love is her father, but when her father is a coach the love of the game comes second. My Father has been a football coach for 26 years and in his 17th year as a head football coach. After all that time, my love for the game has never ceased. His love for me has never ceased either.

When I was little I used to be compared to the daughter from Remember the Titans, and as I grow older I'm still her just more grown up. The love for my father follows him through losing and winning season. When I was first born he coached basketball as well. As I got older he gave up basketball for baseball, and as I got older I became involved in sports.

To say my life has revolved around sports is an understatement. In my house, there are no cartoons on in the living room. It's whatever is on ESPN that night.

Sunday, Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday night football is on and on at least two of the five TVs in the house. Friday nights are long being that is his job and Friday nights in Alabama is when high school football games are played.

All day the anticipation builds, no, correction, all week the anticipation builds.

As his daughter I want everyone to succeed whether we grow as a team, execute the plays right, or just win. Winning comes differently when you are on the inside. Being the coach's kid you're always on the inside and so you know the small victories are those that others do not see when the game is lost. Being the coach's kid you stand behind him and love him no matter what.

The role is reversed being the coach means you are not there for big things in your daughter's life such as certain As achieved on tests, but you are there the day she walks across the stage to receive her diploma from high school.

You are there for her when she strikes out the third batter in the bottom of the seventh with bases loaded to win the number one slot in the area tournament. You are also there for her when she's up all night stressing about her grades.

However it means there are many nights you have missed eating dinner, talking about the day, or seeing the outfit she wore to school, but you are there for the big things in life.

Back to the daughter's view, my view. Friday is here. Let's go to school. Come home from school and get ready for the game. Dressing for the game is a little different for the coach's kid.

You dress your best because you have an image to keep. Clothes are cute and decent, hair is fixed, and makeup is done.

Some may say well it's just a game, and while that is true it is also not their father's occupation. Getting to the game needs to be done about 15 to 20 minutes before kick off.

Why, you may ask, because you need to talk to the parents and family members of the players and make sure the people who know you and expect you to be there know you are there. Now stand appearance is very key and as I have gotten older I have learned this.

Being in the stands means you are being watched constantly. Being watched constantly means be careful what you say, how you say, and when you say it.

Being the daughter means you see what he sees. I see the Xs and the Os. I see the broken coverage, and the person who is on the line but did not block the person they were supposed to, or the kid who was open but the quarterback did not see him because he is only a freshman and it is hard for him.

Although I see the bad stuff I also see the good stuff like the kid that opened up the line to allow the running back to get a first down, the lineman who came off the guy he was blocking to tackle the other team;s running back, and the kid who is busting his tail to do everything coach wants him to do even though he is young and inexperienced.

After the game, I'm the first one standing on the outside of the field house door.

I am the first one who sees the boys who think they did awful because they lost. They see me and they know Baylee is going to give them advice, confidence, and the hug that comes even when they win.

When your Dad is the coach you acquire some 30 odd brothers.

These brothers will defend you to the end and they love your Dad just as much as you do.

As I said my first love was my father, but the love of the game came shortly after. I have loved the game for about 17 years now.

The love between my Daddy and me has lasted for 21 years and counting, and even though one day the clock may run out on his coaching career, the bond we share for the game will not and neither will our love for each other.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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To The Coach Who Ruined The Game For Me

We can't blame you completely, but no one has ever stood up to you before.

I know you never gave it a second thought, the idea that you're the reason I and many others, never went any farther in our athletic careers.

I know you didn't sincerely care about our mental health, as long as we were physically healthy and our bodies were working enough to play. It's obvious your calling wasn't coaching and you weren't meant to work with young adults, some who look to you as a parent figure or a confidant.

I also know that if we were to express our concerns about the empty feeling we began to feel when we stepped onto the court, you wouldn't have taken the conversation seriously because it wasn't your problem.

I know we can't blame you completely, no one has ever stood up to you before. No one said anything when girls would spend their time in the locker room crying because of something that was said or when half the team considered quitting because it was just too much.

We can't get mad at the obvious favoritism because that's how sports are played.

Politics plays a huge role and if you want playing time, you have to know who to befriend. We CAN get mad at the obvious mistreatment, the empty threats, the verbal abuse, “It's not what you say, its how you say it."

We can get mad because a sport that we loved so deeply and had such passion for, was taken away from us single-handedly by an adult who does not care. I know a paycheck meant more to you than our wellbeing, and I know in a few years you probably won't even remember who we are, but we will always remember.

We will remember how excited we used to get on game days and how passionate we were when we played. How we wanted to continue on with our athletic careers to the next level when playing was actually fun. We will also always remember the sly remarks, the obvious dislike from the one person who was supposed to support and encourage us.

We will always remember the day things began to change and our love for the game started to fade.

I hope that one day, for the sake of the young athletes who still have a passion for what they do, you change.

I hope those same athletes walk into practice excited for the day, to get better and improve, instead of walking in with anxiety and worrying about how much trouble they would get into that day. I hope those athletes play their game and don't hold back when doing it, instead of playing safe, too afraid to get pulled and benched the rest of the season.

I hope they form an incredible bond with you, the kind of bond they tell their future children about, “That's the coach who made a difference for me when I was growing up, she's the reason I continued to play."

I don't blame you for everything that happened, we all made choices. I just hope that one day, you realize that what you're doing isn't working. I hope you realize that before any more athletes get to the point of hating the game they once loved.

To the coach that ruined the game for me, I hope you change.

Cover Image Credit: Author's photo

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I Wouldn't Trade My DII Experience To Play DI Athletics Any Day

I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.


As a high school athlete, the only goal is to play your varsity sport at the Division 1 level in college.

No one in high school talks about going to a Division 2 or 3 school, it's as if the only chance you have at playing college athletics is at the DI level. However, there are so many amazing opportunities to play a varsity sport at the DII and DIII level that are equally fun and competitive as playing for a division 1 team.

As a college athlete at the DII level, I hear so many DI athletes wishing they had played at the DII or DIII level. Because the fact of the matter is this: the division you play in really doesn't matter.

The problem is that DII and DIII sports aren't as celebrated as Division 1 athletics. You don't see the National Championships of Division 2 and 3 teams being broadcasted or followed by the entire country. It's sad because the highest levels of competition at the DII and DIII level are competing against some of the Division 1 teams widely celebrated across the country. Yet DII and DIII teams don't receive the recognition that DI athletics do.

Not everyone can be a DI athlete but that doesn't mean it's easy to be a DII or DIII athlete. The competition is just as tough as it is at the top for DII and DIII athletes. Maybe the stakes are higher for these athletes because they have to prove they are just as good as DI athletes. Division 2 and 3 athletes have just as much grit and determination as Division 1 athletes, without the glorified title of being "a division 1 athlete."

Also, playing at the DII or DIII level grants more opportunities to make your college experience your own, not your coach's.

I have heard countless horror stories in athletics over the course of my four-year journey however, the most heartbreaking come from athletes who lose their drive to compete because of the increased pressure from coaches or program. Division 1 athletics are historically tougher programs than Division 2 or 3 programs, making an athlete's college experience from one division to another significantly different.

The best part of not going to a division 1 school is knowing that even though my team doesn't have "DI" attached to it, we still have the opportunity to do something unique every time we arrive at an event. Just because we aren't "DI" athletes, we still have the drive and competitive spirit to go to an event and win. We are great players, and we have broken countless records as a team.

That's something we all have done together, and it's something we can take with us for the rest of our lives.

We each have our own mission when it comes to our college athletic careers, however together we prove to be resilient in the fight for the title. Giving it all when we practice and play is important, but the memories we have made behind the scenes as a team makes it all worth it, too.

The best part of being apart of college athletics is being able to be passionate about your sport with teammates that embody that same mindset. It's an added benefit to having teammates who become your best friends because it makes your victories even more victorious, and your defeats easier to bare.

No matter what level an athlete is playing at in college, it's important that all the hours spent at practice and on the road should be enjoyed with teammates that make the ride worthwhile. The experiences athletes have at any level are going to vary, but the teammates I have and the success we've had together is something I cherish and will take with me forever. I'm thankful that I didn't go DI because I wouldn't have had the best four-year experience as a college athlete.

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