Just Call Me Coach

“Coach Chris”. That’s what the kids are calling me these days and I have to say that it feels pretty good. I guess you could say that I was destined to take on this role. You see, I was raised by one of the greatest coaches to ever step on a field. That man was my father and also my hero.

Truth is, I didn’t even sign up to be my son’s coach for his first year of T-Ball. It was only after we received an email from the league telling us they were short that I decided to throw my name in. I don’t have an official reason for why I didn’t sign up in the first place. I rationalized it by telling myself and my wife that it was because I was way too busy to take on coaching two nights a week, but I knew what the real reason was.

It’s been almost 6 years since I lost my father and while a lot of things have become easier, this is the one that I have been dreading most. He had coached me in multiple sports for as long as I can remember. We traveled a lot. We won championships together. He helped me develop my skills, not only as an athlete, but also as a man. Sports were the major reason for our great relationship. It was our bond.

It’s not that I didn’t want to coach and share that bond with my son, I just wasn’t sure I was ready for the emotional overload that was going to come with it. As it turns out, I couldn’t be happier with my decision. As I grew older, I often wondered what had compelled my father to put so much effort into something that seemed to come with nothing but high costs, upset parents and the stresses of dealing with a team full of kids. I found the answer.

It has only been half a season so far and I already love every one of the kids on my team. They all have different skills and quirks and smiles that make each one of them unique and amazing. The innocent joy on their faces when they catch the ball or win the game of freeze tag, is something that changes you. It changes your whole outlook on what is important and I like to think that this was a secret that my Dad would have shared with me had he still been round to see this.

As for my son, I try not to be too hard on him. I know exactly what it feels like to be the coach’s son and it’s something that he is going to have to get used to because I’m not going anywhere.

7 replies
  1. Georgia Read
    Georgia Read says:

    You will be an awesome coach just like your Dad. He would be so proud of you (as I am) and he would be in there with you. I like to think he is always there in spirit. Beautiful story honey….

    Love Mom..

    Reply
  2. Jacqueline
    Jacqueline says:

    Chris, so proud of you for being honest. I think for any parent we feel that we can not fill our parents shoes. When in fact we shouldn’t have to. We can certainly learn many things through experiences shared with by our own parents. I think the most important thing is doing what feels comfortable for you as a parent. However, I am happy that you have chosen to coach the little guys. My ex husband loved being a baseball coach. It’s wonderful to see how quickly we bond with our little groups. Being a coach/mentor comes with many positive things, one of which is it is “Good Old fun”.

    Reply
    • Chris Read
      Chris Read says:

      Thanks, Jacqueline. I am definitely comfortable in the role of coach and have actually been looking forward to it since our little guy was born. I knew there would be strong emotions attached to it and think it’s important to share those so other guys know that it’s okay to be conflicted.

      Reply
  3. Brenda A.
    Brenda A. says:

    No doubt your boy will be proud each and every night you are present and showing how to be a good leader. Coaching your child is a wonderful way to show your dedication and also to show your child how to be a team player without special courtesies! Play ball!!!

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] It’s his first year in hockey and the learning curve has been steep. Because of his age, most of the kids he is playing with have already played for a season or two, so he has some catching up to do. I volunteered to be an on-ice helper so that I could encourage him to keep at it, and also because coaching seems to be in my blood. […]

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