What Having Coaches As Parents Does For Your Life
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What Having Coaches As Parents Does For Your Life

You are so much stronger than you ever thought you would be, and it's because of them.

What Having Coaches As Parents Does For Your Life

As we mature and grow into adulthood, it is easier to recognize how formative our childhoods were. The experiences we lived through as children affect many of the decision we make today. We can connect our behavior now to that which we noticed in the role models we used to idolize, and we can acknowledge how much our parents, older siblings, babysitters, etc. have shaped the adults we have become.

When we were younger, we couldn't look at our lives with perspective. Our minds were open to a joyous variety of possibilities, but our youthful knowledge could not comprehend how important the lessons we were learning would be for our character development.

Now that I am old enough and mature enough to understand how impactful my childhood was, I appreciate that which I couldn't at the time: namely, how having coaches for parents would make me into the person I am.

My parents were coaches long before I was even a thought in the back of their minds. They met through coaching at the same school, and they succeed as a couple due to the similar core values that they both put into practice in their coaching. They have coached at the elementary, high school, and collegiate levels both at institutions and through organized clubs. Most importantly, they have coached me both on the court/field and off of it.

The first 18 years of my life were set within the context of a volleyball match or a soccer game. It didn't matter if I was on the court for a basketball game, sitting in the backseat--and eventually the front seat--on the way to the next competition, on the field helping coach a younger team, or sitting in my living room. The coaching never stopped.

My parents were not the type of coaches who lived vicariously through their child. They knew how to be parents first and foremost, and they knew how to sit through sporting events without making me cringe in embarrassment. They were supportive in the way parents should be and they knew how to leave their jobs at work. That being said, my parents could never truly stop being coaches.

Being a coach is part of who they are as people, therefore it is part of who they are as parents. I accept that about them and it is one of the things I love and appreciate most about my parents, but that doesn't mean having coaches for parents was easy. It wasn't.

My parents held me to what then seemed like ridiculously high standards. They seemed to make my life much more difficult than it had to be, and I had a different status on a team if my mother or father was the coach.

I resented having to work harder than all the other players simply because one of my parents was the coach. It frustrated me to no end that I couldn't make up excuses or blow off commitments. Also, having to realize that certain kids became friends with me to gain favor with my parent/coach was one of the hardest things I dealt with when I was growing up.

I was the coach's kid and, at times, I hated it, but now that I've had separation from those moments I can look back on those first eighteen years and appreciate the values my parents ingrained in me.

My parents instilled within me the importance ofa strong work ethic. I was never allowed to take a practice off. Not finishing my homework was unacceptable. Doing tasks with anything less than my best effort was a poor representation of the person they were teaching me to be, and they made that clear. Continuously. Exhibiting anything besides your best work will only discredit the effort you put in to what you do.

They taught me that respect is the cornerstoneof any relationship. I learned to respect my elders and my peers even when I disagreed with them. Their insistence that earning people's respect is better than being well-liked took a long time to set in, but now I see the value in what they preached. I'd much rather have people grudgingly respect me than like me personally yet not respect me.

My parents made it clear that quitting is not an option. Once you have made a commitment you must follow through. There are very few reasons why quitting, especially a team, would be acceptable. I can vividly remember hearing, "If you quit mid-season or mid-commitment, you are telling everyone involved that the time and effort that they have put in to this team or group was unimportant. You are discrediting yourself and you are disrespecting your team. We do not quit." If anything has become even more relevant now than it was when my coach parents taught it to me, it is the importance of following through on a commitment. We don't enjoy our jobs 100% of the time. We don't love our classes 100% of the time. Our friendships aren't easy 100% of the time. Yet, no matter what, quitting is not an option. There is a large difference between fulfilling a commitment then choosing not to renew it and quitting mid commitment. One is respectable and the correct way to handle most every situation. The other is unprofessional and irresponsible.

Having two coaches for parents has given me so many more insights into the game that is life than these three, and my parents who could never really stop coaching will probably never run out of lessons for me to learn.

Despite all of the difficulties that accompanied growing up under the eye of a coach, I wouldn't have had my parents be anything else or raise me in any other way.

I'm forever grateful that I have been able to share some of my best athletic memories with my parents in a way most other players couldn't. There's something about having your mom or dad on the same side of the field/court that makes the memories even more meaningful.

They understand the ferocious joy of winning as well as understanding the sting and emptiness of defeat. They watch you grow up, and they watch you interact with your peers in a way other parents usually only guess at. Then, when they are proud of you, it feels as if you have finally accomplished the most important of all goals. Coaches as parents know you and you know them. With them you have a special bond that few other parents and kids understand.

They push you. They push you so hard you think you may break, but it's only once you grow up and look back on the lessons you learned that you realize they pushed you in that manner to make you stronger. You thought they were breaking you down, but they were really building you up. You are the adult you are now as a result of every car ride conversation, sideline scream, extra practice session, and pep talk.

Your childhood was formative, just like everyone else's, but deep down you know that your parent coaches are going to continue to shape your character and your life through how they treat you as you transition fully into adulthood.

Remember to be thankful for every day that you have with your loving, demanding, wise-beyond-their-years coaches.

The practices and games may end, but the lessons never do.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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