my first season of coaching volleyball is over, and one of my parents asked me “are you excited for all your free time?” I answered “well, actually I don’t want it.” and it was kind of funny, but mostly serious. I’m not ready for all the fun to end!

We ended the season on a bit of a rough note…had the end of the year league tournament, and our setter and team captain went to a debate tournament, and we had a girl who was really too sick to play, but did, and one of our most spirited girls went to debate as well. Our game was the first of the day, at 9am, and we lost in three. Its tough as a coach, to end your season with a loss. but i am so dang proud of my team.

i had quite a few coaches, parents, and players from other teams in our league come up to me and say that they had really wanted to play us again, because we were such a nice, fun, spirited team. They said they had been rooting for us and looking forward to a rematch all season. So that was really nice.

it brought back a lot of memories of club vball from my high school days, to be spending eight hours in a gym, eating nachos and sitting in bleachers, going a little stir crazy, cheering wildly at every play. it was so fun.

either way, win or lose, my season would have been over today. im so sad. i love the girls i coach so much. like they’re 11-14 years old, but the sweetest, funniest, most caring group of kids. i would hang out with them in real life. these past few weeks have been a little rough for me, but knowing i had practice to go to, and 11 pairs of tiny arms that wanted to wrap themselves around my waist and scream “coach weight! coach weight! guess what happened to me today at school!?” or write me little love notes and bake me brownies and promise they will play really hard today.

it has been a big commitment…i havent cleaned anything in the house since the season started, havent kept up with grading, laundry, or staying in touch with friends. i havent slept well because im up thinking about my lineups and stats. i get home late, get up early, etc.

but it has been one of the most positive and rewarding experiences of my life.

we have a team party on tuesday night…i realized that as coach, i kinda need to emcee the whole thing, talk about the season, about each girl individually. im nervous slash excited. i had the girls fill out little surveys about their favorite memories and what they learned this year, and i’ll use that to help me. they are so funny. they drew pictures of unicorns playing volleyball or me eating carrots. really weird kids, actually. but so awesome.

well i am exhausted…but feeling pretty happy with life for the moment.

to dream of volleyball and the trophies and glory there could have been….but i will stick with the laughs i can still hear and the crazy cheers and unexpected joy i found in coaching these girls.