Sports Culture: Hit or Miss?

I guess I’m starting a series on coaching because I have several ideas churning – on both sports coaching and instructional coaching. At any rate, you can read my first post on the topic here.

So last night I attended Steven’s volleyball team’s end-of-season banquet. His team did really well this year and made it to the state tournament for the first time in his school’s history. (And this was Steven’s very first year to coach varsity volleyball.) As Steven was giving his speech toward the end of the night, I realized that I’ve missed out on the culture of sports. Playing sports. Watching sports. I’ve never been interested in sports, mostly because I’ve got the athletic ability of a turtle.

But there was something palpable in the air that was – different. A camaraderie. A sisterhood. A bond, one that I may never have experienced. Being part of a team. A winning team.

In some ways, I can relate. Though I didn’t do sports, I did theater, choir, student government. Every time we did a theater production we became a family for a few months – all that time spent together practicing, blocking, building sets. After each final performance, there was the thrill and adrenaline of accomplishment, but there was also the pain of the family breaking up, the experience being over.

Still, there’s a faith in his players that my husband demonstrated that I’m not sure I ever saw in a teacher. Faith that they would understand when he was hard on them. Faith that they would always keep the end goal in mind. Faith that they would take the skills they’d worked on in practice and apply them in the pressure of a game. Faith that they would uphold themselves as women of character and always remember they are role models to other students, other players, other teachers, other schools.

And the girls, in return, had faith in and respect for their coach. They also had a love for the game, and a love for the team that could not have been more evident.

I don’t feel cheated or deprived, but I do wonder what I’ve missed out on. I wonder how I would’ve turned out differently if I’d been involved in sports. Would my attitude be different? My outlook on life? My relationships with people? Guess I’ll never know . . .


  1. Karen Vertrees says:

    It sounds like Steven is a great teacher. He shows respect and gves encourgament to his team, and in return for the love and respect he gives, they seem to respect hm.

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