In Gratitude

I have always been a team player.  I have zero athletic ability, but I was born to be on a team.

When it came to kids picking teams, I was always the last kid picked.  I know I was the last pick when it came to my coaches too.  But, that didn’t stop me.  What I lacked in athletic ability, I made up for in spirit and attitude.  I knew at an early age what a privilege it was to be part of a team.

I loved going to practice, wearing the team uniform, working hard and giving it everything I had.  I loved the camaraderie, the laughs and inside jokes between teammates.  As a substitute player, I saw very little playing time, but that didn’t matter because my role on the team was on the sidelines.  In fact, that’s where I developed my leadership skills and I thank every coach I’ve ever had for bringing out the very best in me.

On the sidelines, I learned that every member of the team is invaluable from the MVP to the 12th player.  I also learned to recognize, appreciate and acknowledge the gifts and talents of each individual player.

IMG_6833 This past weekend, my son’s hockey team placed 2nd out of 66 teams in the state.  In the stands, I had time to reflect on the importance of being part of a team.  Not only am I grateful as a player, I am grateful as a parent.  Coaches volunteer their time, talent and passion in order to build confidence and leadership skills for life.  What you learn from a coach defines you for life —  your work ethic, attitude, sacrifice, dedication, commitment, and perseverance.

In gratitude, I want to thank coaches everywhere — especially my soccer coach, Mr. Mac, for inspiring me my entire life.  What I learned on your field, I have brought into my classroom and my profession.

For my son’s hockey coaches, I thank you from the bottom of my heart for the privilege to be a parent in the stands all season.  I loved watching you build a foundation for life for each of your players  — it is a testimony to your character and has not gone unnoticed.

As I said before every practice and game, “I’ll give you everything I have, coach.”  What a gift to have learned this lesson early in life and to have the opportunity to watch my son learn the same lessons.



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