I am not the type of person, to, "sing my own praises", or "toot my own horn"; so, I write this in an effort to help others see, they can also, "pay it forward", in the most simple way!
When I lost my job a few years ago; I traded in my corporate job, for a full time stay at home mom, wife and house manager! It was the best gift, I have ever been given. I was forced to take a good look around, and put my priorities in perspective!
I have an 9 year old little boy, that is very shy and suffers seperation anxiety. My son, wanted to play Soccer, but, only if I coached? I had never played Soccer, so, coaching would be "outside my comfort zone", for sure! The recreational Soccer program, in my town, encouraged me to sign up; and, assured me, they would provide trainers to help and additional training for new coaches. I did sign up, and so my journey began!
When I started coaching; I found that I had a natural ability to relate to the kids! I made practices fun, and made sure to give every player an "individual role", on our team, something that would make them feel special! I built this, "commrodary", amoungest my team; watching these little boys, work as a "team", to encourage each other and support one another, was what kept me going and now coaching for 3 years!
This past fall, I wanted to do more. The boys Varsity Soccer coach, invited the 2nd, 3rd and 4th grade teams, to play during the half time at all the home games. I decided to take on the task, and schedual a game for all the little boys, and I even included girls, "that wanted to play". It was the most remarkable experience for everyone involved! The high school boys, became mentors, and the little boys, "I can't even put it in words, its like they believed for just those 15 minutes, they could do anything, or do something, "great"! I wish I could describe it better, and when I talk about it, it brings tears to my eyes! This program was such a tremendous success, we are working to continue, a, "mentor program"; having, the Highschool boys work with the new coaches and players, during the entire Soccer year!
In the past 3 years I have been coaching; I have watched, not only my son, but so many other young boys; "Believe in themselves"! I have seen these young boys, embrace one another, support one another, and enourage one another! I have taught them, so much more than Soccer! I have taught them to beleive in themselves, and to be kind to one another; I have taught them, "good sportsmansip"! They have given me the courage to play Soccer, and I know play on an adult, co-ed team?
The most amazing thing happend this past year, I recieved a letter from, "Connecticut Junior Soccer Association", naming me, "Recreational Boys Coach of the Year"! The most amazing part of that award; I was nominated by my entire team, who wrote a two page letter about how I had given them the confidence, to believe in thier dreams!!
I believe, that everyone has a purpose in this life! We all have the opportunity to pay it forward! I have payed it forward, by giving our youth the confidence to believe in themselves, and, they will pay it forward....whether its stopping a bully, accepting a new student, or helping someone who is having a bad day? The highschool boys, have paid it forward by mentoring these young boys, that emulate them..The Varsity coach paid it forward, giving my young players the opportunity to share the "spot light", with, his team, and starting a youth sports mentor program. Finally, "Connecticut Junior Soccer Association"; paid it forward, by recognizing how, being a good coach, is much more than teaching how to kick a Soccer ball!
If we all chip in, its contagious, and I have seen it for myself !The more you give in this life the more you will receive!