Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Me!? A Role-Model!?

I apologize for not posting in a while.  Everything has been crazy between school, coaching, and a couple clubs I'm in.

I'd like to talk about being an assistant coach.  I'm still in highschool, so I don't have a child and I'm not old enough to be a head coach.  I love volleyball and I would spend 24/7 playing and practicing drills if I could.  So I asked if I could help out at the catholic grade school I went to.  So, since November, I have been assistant coaching the 3rd grade and 4th grade teams.  It's amazing!  I love being able to help them learn the sport (the 3rd graders are just now starting to learn the skills.  It's their first year.  And for the fourth graders, they started playing games against other teams and are improving on their previous skills.)

It really is an incredible experience to be able to be someone these kids can look up to and who can relate with them in a different way than an adult can.  The one little girl on the 3rd grade team likes to wave at me whenever she sees me at church and she is glued to my side at practice.  Another girl on the 4th grade team likes for me to help her on her serve rather than her mom (who is one of the other coaches.)  It's fun being someone they can talk to.  It makes me feel like I'm making a difference.  

I'm sure every one of us has heard the whole "I'm not your friend. I'm your [coach, mom, dad, teacher, etc.]."  Well, where I'm standing, I can almost do both.  With the 3rd graders I am their friend more than I am their coach.  If they don't understand something, or they aren't doing something correctly, I am able to show them and it doesn't embarrass them as much as if their parent or a coach called them out.  It is a unique position and I love it!  With the fourth grade I typically have to be a little more stern because they're at the age of "I know better than you," but they tend to listen to me because I'm closer to their level.  I'm only 6-8 years older than them, depending on the kid.  Our one coach is more than 7 times their age and the other two coaches are parents of kids.  So we each have a different perspective.  I am in a position to be able to help them in a different way than the two coaches that are parent who are able to help coach in a different way than the other coach who is able to help them in yet another way.

When I signed up to be a coach, I didn't realize how much I would be a role-model to these girls on and off the court.  On the court I have authority, yet I can be a friend to them.  But I'm still a role-model.  They look to me for advice and I show them the correct way to do something.  For example, one key thing in volleyball is to stay low and keep your knees bent.  I've lost count of how many times I say "down" or "bend your knees" or "down and ready, girls" in just one practice.  But if I'm telling them to get down and STAY down then when I scrimmage against them or when I demonstrate for them, then I have to be down too, even when it's not necessary, because it gets the point across and I am being an example.  Do as I say, not as I do? NO!  Do as I say and as I do.  THAT is how they will learn.

I also didn't realize how much of a role-model I would be off the court.  Most of the girls I had never met before I started coaching.  Well, now it's like I see them everywhere I go!  I see a lot of them in church and they'll wave at me or give me that look like "whoa! you're hair isn't permanently in a braid!?"  haha  So they see me dressed up, but still being modest.  I've also seen them at the store or at their school (I occasionally go in and say hi to my past teachers or help out in the library).  It's fun seeing them and seeing their faces light up with that "hey! I know you!" look on their faces.  

I guess where I'm going with this blog post is that anyone can be a role-model.  I'm still in high school and I can be a role model.  The two women that I'm coaching with are parents and they're role-models.  The man that I'm also coaching with is much much older than them and he is a role-model to them.  EVERYONE is a role-model.  You don't have to be a coach, parent,  teacher, etc. to be a role-model.  Look at Jesus, he was born in a barn, in a manger that they put the animals' food in, he was the son of a wood carver.  Yet look at what a role-model he was.  Yes, I realize Jesus was God, but He was also human.  Fully God and fully human.  I'm sure he got nervous too, standing in front of all those people eagerly listening to him.  But I'm not saying that you should go stand up in front of your whole church and give your whole life story.  No.  I'm just saying to be a good example to those around you and be someone they can look up to.

Thank you for reading!
God Bless!