1987 - Who would have thought I would go from this...to a varsity Soccer coach? :)
2011 (I took the previous season off because of Madelynn)
2012 - My final season
As I sat on the bus for the final time the song, Friends by Michael W. Smith came to mind...."Can't believe the hopes He's granted, means a chapter in your like is through..." Coaching soccer was a chapter I would have never imagined would even be written on the pages of my life. I started my coaching career in 2005 on the Socorro field and I ended it in 2012 on the Socorro field...how ironic. As tears came down my cheeks I realized I was closing another chapter that my dad had been part of and for some reason that always hurts the most. As we open new pages and chapters that he wasn't there for it just solidifies the fact that he is not here (not that I really needed a reminder). Then the tears really started to flow and the pictures of the past 8 years began playing through my mind like a slideshow.
I thought about the girls whose blood, sweat, and tears will forever mark the pages of my Soccer Coaching chapter. I can't even remember how many there have been and sadly, I can't even remember all their names. I began to look back through my old rosters and then all the old pictures --- and these are just the Varsity ones (I didn't have copies of all the JV ones, although they may be at my house somewhere). It is amazing the hats you where when you are a coach; and the coaching hat is just the tip of the iceberg. Counselor, mentor, nurse, mom, diciplinarian, athletic trainer, ref, cheerleader and I am sure there are a few choice ones some of the girls would throw in there at times. I know that the skills I have learned out on that field will greatly help me as we raise Madelynn.
There are many girls who will forever leave their mark on my heart and mind. I have learned from them about being patient, usng kind words, listen more intently, and to realize that all kids come from very different backgrounds. I have cried over these girls and also laughed so hard with them that my sides hurt.
I am so thankful to the people who have helped me and been mentors to me during this time. Bruce, of course, always has the best insight when I am upset or frustrated. His advice usually included - then quit or at least its Girl's Soccer nobody really cares :). Coach Comacho - it is all his fault that I have gone through the stress that I have the last few years, but I wouldn't trade it for the world. Not only was he a mentor on the field but also in my Christian walk with God. I am thankful for his friendship. Coach Lopez - I joke that we are like an old married cupple by the end of a season because we spend so much time together, this year especially with 2 over night trips together (granted our time is not over because we also coach track together). He has always been there to support and guide me and I am so thankful for that. I will miss them greatly and tresure their friendship. And of course Coach Sategna who asked me to coach track at my wedding, of all places, and that was how I first got into the coaching world. I tried to quit a few years ago but then in came out in the paper that I was on maternity leave and ended up back the next season :) There is something in me that wants to make Coach Sategna proud when I am out there. Even though he is was not my boss this year I still found myself looking at the good behavior of my girls at a resturant or something and thinking, "Coach would be proud of our Bloomfield girls." So I am thankful for him also.
Things I will miss - the girls, the lessons we teach each other, the games, bus trips, laughter, Coach Lopez, Coach Comacho, picking just the right shirt for the season....
Things I will NOT miss - bus trips, my car being full of soccer equipment, collecting uniforms, the heat, did I mention the bus, attitudes, parents, the tears....
What a trip it has been. One I would not trade for the world and one I will never forget. Now it is time to spend time with my little girl and, who knows, coach her team someday...but I would rather just enjoy watching.
Side notes - I found it interesting to look at the pictures and check out my hair styles, how much weight I have gained since I started coaching. I knew it was time to quit when I had come full circle and one of my athletes was now my assistant...