Blinded by november part 3: The Team around the team

We often forget that the coach or administrator is not the only voice in the players ear, but also the parents and spectators. Many times we would leave the playing field, whether we won or lost, and get on the bus to go home from the game. I would sit in the front of the bus while my players would call their parents to give the recap of the game. I could often hear the parent on the other line with the first question of the evening, “Well…did you win?” which were followed by “how many goals did you score?” or “how many saves did you have?”. None of these statistics are revealing of the players character.

The stats do not show how they directed their teammates during high stress situations during the game. The stats do not show the sweat and determination that was left on the field by either team. Imagine hearing these same questions after every game you’ve ever played starting when you were a child in beginner level sports.

As parents, we of course want to be proud of team accomplishments, but know that the true accomplishment is that we encouraged and supported our child to continue to play a sport they love regardless of wins and losses. As parents we provided an opportunity for our child to gain knowledge of health, fitness, time management, nutrition, and positive social interactions with others. Furthermore, parents provided the opportunity for their child to make choices and learn from them. Parents must be focused on this accomplishment and remember that the words, “I love watching you play,” hit the net and the heart much harder than any goal scored. If coaches, parents, and administrators can work together to provide the right climate for young athletes to thrive, we could reduce the stress and anxiety of playing a simple game. We must give the game back to the kids.

We need to ask ourselves as coaches, administrators, and sport program directors, “Why did I choose to coach?” Was it for the thrill of winning? Was it because you love to work with athletes? Was it because you love the sport? Remember this: the way you give back to the sport is by creating more players that love the game. When you share your passion with others, people are inspired. When you find yourself throwing the clipboard or yelling at the umpire, you become blinded by November. Enjoy your athletes and the bonds you create, encourage parents to do the same, and with that, everyone will be able to enjoy the game for life.

“Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the pit? A student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher.” Luke 6:39-40







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