I love sports.
I’m not good at any of them, but I love them anyway. In fact, I’m so uncoordinated, I can barely type and chew gum at the same time, so you can forget about anything requiring more concentration than that.
Obviously, the last thing anybody in their right mind would me to do is teach their child anything about sports.
I am not a coach. I’m not the next Red Auerbach, Tom Landry or Tony La Russa, but every now and then, I get to see what it is like.
During the past few weeks, I have covered several of Copperas Cove’s summer camps, including ones for basketball, football and volleyball.
Upon arriving at each location, it felt as if I was walking into madness. Countless kids running around, doing goofy things kids do, while instructors are trying to maintain the attention of the group.
I remember thinking to myself there is no way any information could be conveyed here, but I was wrong.
Following several minutes of observation, I began noticing actual learning was taking place.
Even at the camps where kids as young as kindergartners were in attendance, skills were being taught and fundamentals were being retained, and the process was amazing.
At the Lady Dawg Basketball Camp run by head coach Eldridge McAdams and his staff, I witnessed a group of young middle-school age girls start running a drill, and it was clear they were lost. They didn’t understand what to do or why they were doing it, and they simply struggled through the motions.
Then one of the older girls, who understood the premise of the drill, walked through it one more time, and, instantly, the rest of the group caught on.
Suddenly, smiles began replacing puzzled looks and joy overtook confusion.
The light bulbs turned on inside their heads. Then and there, I gained a sense of what it must be like to be a coach, and to see the learning process take place firsthand was a great experience.
Coaches, especially football coaches in Texas, get a bad rap. The stereotypical hothead, who screams in players’ faces and forces them to run until throwing up, is often associated with the profession, and as someone who deals with coaches on a daily basis, I know it is far from accurate.
Most coaches live for the moments players grasp a certain concept or finally comprehend a philosophy.
They get to experience those instances of understanding on a daily basis and, for that, I’m jealous.
Now, I can do without the long hours, constant stress, suffocating responsibilities and seemingly unrelenting pressure, but I assume those times of enlightenment make up for it.
Heck, just seeing it happen a couple of times over the past few weeks brightened up my outlook.
After all, without getting too deep, isn’t that the core reason why each of us is here? To pass information on to future generations.
If I had the ability to coach, I would. I love kids, and I love to see them thrive.
Unfortunately, I would be lucky to teach them how to tie their shoes properly. Good thing there are enough talented coaches out there that I don’t need to quit my day job.
Contact Clay Whittington at firstname.lastname@example.org