I LOVE coaching! I had my first practice today…and my girls ROCK!!! They aren’t the tallest, but seriously athletic, fast, and I love that they have such a positive attitude about everything. I’m really competitive (surprise) and I know they are like ten-14 years old, but I didn’t want to tone it down…I want to challenge them. And they are all such hard workers, they were totally into it. I mean, they weren’t dying for more sprints or anything, but they understood the whole “if we work hard, win or lose, we’ll be proud” mentality I wanted them to have.

Practice was cut short because we did service projects in the afternoon with Salvation Army because its spirit week. And I had to smash together all my plans and had to meet with parents and I got all nervous and totally messed up. But my parents were really forgiving and sweet and seemed excited.

We had some really hard cuts to make to form this team…something like 16 girls got cut….some that were even on the team last year. But I knew I had made the right decisions. Despite really nice and detailed emails about the evaluation process and explaining why we made the cuts, there have been (according to rumor) hurt feelings. I’ve started to think that its more the moms that get upset about the cuts than the girls…I was really worried because I teach all these girls, so I didn’t want them to take the decisions personally. But even the ones I was most worried about their reaction to the cuts, have all come up to me, hugged me, have been totally normal. So I think its mom radar on overdrive. Oh well. Brush it off. They weren’t at tryouts, I was. My team, my rules. : ) (Coach’s claws come out!)

Coaching is a lot like teaching, but I have to talk less. I love that everyone is sweating, working hard, and that you can tell a girl to change one little thing; the way she’s standing, the position of her hands, and see immediate results. And you can yell loud and freak out over every little accomplishment. And I love that girls who might not be very good at school, can be good on the court and be great teammates.

There is nothing like playing a sport, I think it does so much for girls in their self-esteem, their social skills, and knowing they are valued.

and I gotta admit, its pretty fun to smack balls at them all day and order lunges and pushups and sprints :)

viva la volleyball.