I can’t believe I am saying this but: I have been living in Ireland for over 3 months!!!! There are times when I feel like it was yesterday that I was wearing shorts and saying good-bye to my family and then there are other times that I feel like I am practically Irish. I have truly learned so much since I have been here and have made relationships with such special people. I had decided to share with you a story that has been one of the highlights of my journey so far.
A few months ago when I found out that I was coaching an 18 and under team I was nervous. I was closer in age with them compared to any other coach I have ever coached before. The coaches that I had during my high school years had such an impact on myself, and it hit me that I have the potential to have a big impact on them. I’m not going to lie the pressure felt heavy on my chest: what if I had a negative impact on them? So many “what if” questions spiraled in my mind. Nights before the first practice I stayed up thinking “how do you become inspirational?”
When the first day of practice came, I wrote up a practice plan and decided I was just going to stay positive. My goal was to have them leave having learned at least one thing about the game, and be happier than they were before they came. Once the season got going I began looking forward to going to coaching, and interacting with the girls. They were teaching me as much as I was trying to teach them.
3 months in and I received a text from one of my players, randomly; on a night we did not have practice. She was asking how I had done in my last game, and my response was simple: “We lost, but I had a good time.” I then went on to say, that it is always important to keep a positive attitude and spread it with others. That is what I try to do with the girls even if I may seem goofy.
Her response will be something that I will never forget:
“You make basketball so much though, it’s amazing.”
This was one of those moments in life, where I felt that a “thank you” was just not enough. It was one of the nicest things that anyone has ever said to me. It was not just a confidence boost, but it also made me realize you can’t plan on being inspirational, you just have to be yourself. Because just being you might be exactly what someone needs in their life.