Your senior year. For most, that means your final year in high school. For most athletes, that means your last year playing sports as a team. For coaches, that means another year of having to watch a group of seniors leave. You see, as a student-athlete, I never really thought about what the coach went through because I was too busy being upset about never being able to play basketball competitively again. I never took a minute to consider the heartache they experienced, year after year.
Being out for two years now, I realize that coaches go through so much more than anyone wants to admit. Not only do they stay after school hours for practices and other things, but most even come before school hours to get everything ready for said after hour events. They spend days working on plays for the team to perfect. They spend sleepless nights wondering what happened during that loss that should've been a win. What they could have done to fix it that they didn't. They literally breathe the sport they coach, and they make sure those students know how much they mean to them.
Coaches worry about the kids they have personally, as well as the kids they adopt every year when a new team comes along. Coaches go through the pain of seniors leaving, not once, but every year they choose to coach. Coaches have to go through a senior night every year. They don't quit, though. As painful as it is to watch their seniors leave, they know they have a duty to coach the upcoming students to be the best they can be. They mold those players into the people they will become. They try their best to create great players, but more importantly great people.
Coaches give it their all, and a lot of times don't get much in return. In fact, they may get a screaming parent in return. They go through a lot for their players. Most likely most coaches would give everything for their players. The next time you think about your old coach (or your present one), let them know how appreciative of them you are. You wouldn't be who or where you are without them. Thank them for guiding you through your high school years. Thank them for being one of the most influential people in your life. Through the good times, and the bad times. Those coaches dedicate their lives to you, the least you could do is stop for one moment in your life to let them know just how much of an impact they made on your life.