A letter of thanks to my coach!
Yesterday, we published an open letter to a coach who ruined the game for a young player. You can read that here. CLICK HERE for Yesterdays POST!
But today, we want to share an Instagram DM from one of our fans who shares a different story.
Look, its easy in this life to simply place blame. We get that. And we also get that there are far more great coaches out there who do what they do, and love the girls and the game and invest a ton of time and energy into their teams with very little reward in return. And we are THANKFUL to each and every one of you, FOR WITHOUT YOUR INVESTMENT, fastpitch would not be what it is today. So today we share just a snippet of how your role as a coach may touch someone else’s life in profound ways.
Dear SIFG –
I read your post about the coach who ruined the game. For me, I had the total opposite experience. When I was 13 years old I signed myself up for rec ball and got on a team with some local girls. My parents did not really have time for me and were doing their own thing but I knew I wanted to play ball. I hid my situation from everyone on the team. I would get to practice early just to pretend in front of the other girls that my parents had dropped me off, and I would stay until everyone else had left, usually hanging out in the bathroom before walking back home. I used my brother’s old glove, and had to borrow a bat just to play.
This went on through spring, summer and fall rec league. And although I never told anyone about it, it seemed that my coach knew something was amiss. He and his daughter would pick me up for games, drive me home from practice, and he even somehow got my uniform fees taken care of. I would look in my duffel bag and things like a new to me glove, and some new socks or batting gloves would just show up. There was always a Gatorade and a water in my bag during games even though I never brought those things. I never saw him give these things to me, but I knew. I played on his team until I was 17, and there were no more teams for me to play on, and during this time he saved me.
He never pried me for information, or made me feel different. But he did give me all sorts of advice about everything from school to boys. He treated me like I was his daughter, and he showed me love and compassion. When he met my mother for the first time, I was horrified. She was a wreck, and my eyes were down and I thought for sure he would want nothing to do with me again. But he did. Much to my surprise.
During this time, he always made a point to show up at my school functions so that I had someone there with me. He threw me a graduation party when I graduated high school, and he and his wife even helped me apply for colleges and scholarships.
I guess what I am trying to say is that if it were not for him, I am not sure where I would be right now. I am 24 now, just graduated from a nursing program, and my coach was right there to cheer me on.
I remember when my team went to an all-star tournament several hours away, he made sure that I would be there with the team even though he knew I couldn’t afford it and didn’t have parental support.
I learned so much more than the game from him. I learned what it felt like to be loved, and what it felt like to have a dad. I took the confidence from the field and applied it to my life, under his wing. I never settled for less than what my coach told me I deserved. And although he had plenty of his own things going on in his life, he did not hesitate to share his time with me.
The truth is I am forever grateful for that coach and the game of softball will forever be what I call my home.