Anna’s soccer cleats kicked, ran, slid, fell down, got up again and were moved beyond what most 9 year old girls could move them.
Anna loves soccer she plays it every day during recess, after school on the playground and is completely excited to have soccer practice and on cloud 9 when she has a game. She truly enjoys learning new foot skills, strategies and ways to play the game.
She listens to her coach, Nicki, who we refer to as her “life coach”. Nicki has coached her in softball, basketball, volleyball and soccer since she was 6 years old. The words that fall from coach Nicki’s lips are like gold to Anna; she listens, learns, practices and performs. Anna comes to life on that soccer field like in no other sport she has ever played. As parents we believe Anna has a God given talent as an athlete maybe not an Olympic athlete but one never knows. Anna is driven and pushes herself beyond the normal 9 years olds, much of it has to do with the relationship she has with her coach and I believe her family. We always encourage our children to embrace their God given talents and praise them for it. We also give them room to excel in that area.
Coach Nicky saw something in Anna as a 6 year old and because she is a friend of the family she formed a bond with Anna. Anna trusts Nicki to coach her. In fact she has only been coached by 3 other coaches and Anna had trouble with that at the start of each season without Nicki. Gina who is also a good friend of the family has coached along side of Nicki and has been a positive influence on Anna as well. The two coaches balance each other out with different coaching techniques. Neither coach is paid or reimbursed in any way to coach. They coach their own daughters and have a love of sports. People underestimate the awesome affect of a talented and caring coach. Anna’s connection to sports is driven by her passion for the sport but also by trying to make her coaches proud. They have taught her sportsmanship, respect for others on the field and how to play as a team. A coach can make or break a player’s passion.
Think about the coaches your child has had and how they have affected your child’s love of sports. If you have had the pleasure of witnessing coaching like my daughter has then you should thank those coaches. We should give them respect and let them know how much they are appreciated. The lessons our children learn from coaches don’t get put away with the old soccer shoes they last a lifetime in the mindset of a true athlete.
Thank you Nicki,Gina, Dario & Keith for coaching Anna, for teaching her a love for the sport and encouraging the gifts God has given to her.