I recently changed my major from marketing to business education, in hopes of one day teaching high school business and having the privilege of being a coach. In my life I have been so blessed to not only been raised by one of the best coaches there is, but also to have been placed in programs with tremendous coaches to look up to. I truly believe that the Lord has placed me in every stage of my athletic career to prepare me for my own opportunity to coach one day. In my own opinion, coaches do not get enough credit for the time, effort, and energy that they put into the programs that they lead, and I know first hand that a lot of the time their efforts go unnoticed. I am a coach's daughter, so I have experienced being away from my dad on long road trips, rejoicing in success and the frustration of losing. I have seen the dedication that it takes to be a good coach, and the investment of yourself that it demands. So this article is dedicated to all the coaches who spend late nights and countless hours of preparation and stress in order to give their athletes all that they could ever want or need. You are so appreciated, Coach.
First let me talk about the impact a coach can have on a player. Dr. Billy Graham once stated, "One coach will impact more young people in a year than the average person does in a lifetime." When I am away at school I see my coach every day, and I only see my parents a handful of times during the school year. Now, that is because I am 6 hours away from home, but what about high schools kids who don't see much of their parents at all? Maybe it's a broken home life, or long hours of working to make ends meet. Their coach may be the one constant adult that they have in their life. Can you imagine the impact that can make? My dad coached high school and college baseball for 32 years and as a coach's daughter, I've experienced a lot of cool moments between my family and former players of my dad. What stands out the most to me was when my dad was re-diagnosed with stage 4 Melanoma skin cancer, around 45 of his former athletes all sent a baseball to the house that had written on the ball their favorite memory with dad or how he impacted their life. I've learned through my dad's own story that sometimes when you look back on it all, it's not about how many runs you put up on the scoreboard, or how many wins were recorded in the book, rather it's about the people you touched, and the investment you made into your players lives. If I can be half the coach that my dad was to his players, I know that I will be alright in the coaching world.
So thank you, to all the coaches who have invested in me, taken time away from your own family and friends to be the best coach you can be for me and my teammates, and for impacting me in a way that will forever change who I am, as a player and as a person. I am grateful for the laughs, the love, and even all the butt-chewings I've gotten over the years, because it has prepared me for what I never knew I was being called to do, which is coach. When I was learning the game from you, I was also learning about life with you, and subsequently, I was learning about my future career. Athletics have given me so many opportunities in this life, and I hope one day I can give back to future athletes all that I have been given. I hope that one day I can have a player who can say that I helped them not only become a better athlete, but become a better daughter, sister, and friend. I hope that one day I can fulfill the impact that Dr. Graham spoke of in a positive way, and change a life in the way that my coaches have together changed mine.