Sometimes being a coach is hard.
Especially coaching cheerleading. I have been coach for 17 years now (I can't believe that even as I write it!), and I've dealt with my share of crazy parents and administrators and some challenging kids too. I have a long list of doozies over the course of my tenure, and there were several times I wanted to quit. Wanted to give up. In fact, I did give up another team I was coaching last year due to a couple of parents who were causing problems and a great amount of drama. Decided I was too old for that and I wanted to narrow my focus to my growing EDE program.
Every so often, though, I get an unsolicited email or note from a parent or cheerleader or alum that keeps me going. I keep these emails in a folder labeled "Nice Things Said." When things get tough, this is where I turn to remind myself why I keep doing what I do. Here is excerpt from an email I got yesterday from a girl who was in my program two years ago. She has since moved out-of-state and I had lost track of her:
"I hope EDE is growing and doing very well. I hope you a can continue to be an amazing coach. It was a great comfort to me and I think every girl should have cheer and dance in her life. I still remember every routine I did with you and I laugh looking back at our father/daughter cake and ice cream dance. You are so inspirational and a genuinely good and caring person. I hope to see you again and catch up wth you more." There are a few more like that in the folder. I read through when I need a boost. I recommend EVERY coach keep a folder like this, electronically, or in a paper folder next to your bed, and read through it occasionally. Let's remember why we do this: at the end of the day, we are making a positive difference in kids' lives, and this is a sacred duty. Let's not forget the gravity of the impact we can have with the young people we influence. Coach on!