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State Championship Rings

So as the days go by we are embracing the joy we have in each day. We have been blessed by some amazing meals. Doug is doing really well, his weakness on his left side seems to get worse when he sits or lays for to long. So I am doing my best to keep him moving. On Wednesday we went out to the softball field, where Doug received his State Champions ring! He was brought to tears, and so honored to put it on his finger.

I realized just how much he has impacted young athletes. A true coach who is always looking out for the best of his young players. In all the years he has been coaching, it has always been the stories he shared with me about how his girls are doing, how his girls practiced, how his girls respond to him, how much he loves his girls. He is referring "his girls" to the team he is coaching, not his daughters. I have been in awe to watch girls grow up in the softball world, Doug would be coaching and he would say, Jack this one has something special, you just watch her grow she is going to do amazing things. It has been fun, over the past 12 years of his coaching those he talked about when they were little have done exactly what he said. They have done amazing things!

Doug has received sweet sweet letters in the mail, loving posts on social media expressing how he has inspired, impacted, and believed in players. It has warmed my heart to hear such beautiful writings about him. It is as heart warming to hear him say, oh my gosh they are the reason I coach, they do all the work Jack I am just there to guide them. To show them what I see in them. He is the exact coach I would have hand picked for my three girls. Inspiring, building up, impacting, believing, and showing what team truly needs to be about. Winning is fun, winning makes for a good time, but winning with the score between two teams IS NOT WHAT COACHING IS ABOUT! Taking an athlete that doesn't believe in herself and helping her to see what you see, putting your arm around an athlete or a pat on the back when they have had a bad day, seeing goals met that might be so simple, having an athlete you coached, years later tell you how you impacted them, that is what coaching is about. That is WINNING!

I was angered and saddened this past week by two incidents that occurred. I was visiting with a dear friend whose child has Down's Syndrome. She told me her child being in High School wanted to take choir. The child actually got choir as an elective, while my friend spoke with the choir teacher about the fees the choir teacher I believe did wrong. The teacher told my friend that after listening to her child sing the child did not have good range. My friend already knowing this, just wanted her child in a choir class because the child enjoyed music and singing. The teacher went on to say, "we go to music festival and the judges do not take into consideration there is a Down's syndrome child in the group. We could receive a lower score." The teacher was quick to state," I am not concerned about that, but the other children in the class take choir very serious and would be upset and could take it out on your child."

I seriously was so angered by this story my insides shook. Re read that paragraph, I used "child" and "teacher" to not only protect my friend but to make a huge point. CHILD! TEACHER! This is my point of view: As a teacher or coach we are to help guide, inspire, encourage, build up our young people in our lives. We are given opportunities to teach life lessons and build character.

This teacher missed it all! First off if it is true the judges don't take into consideration there is a Down's syndrome child in the group, SAME ON YOU! Why would we not want ALL of our young people to experience what music festival is about. The comment about receiving a lower score, let me just say life is about something bigger than a music festival score. The fact that others in the class would be upset and could take it out on another child, you dropped the ball. There was an opportunity to teach life lessons, not to my friend's child but to all the other children in the class. In my eyes this teacher was saying your child could be bullied by the other children, my question would have been to the teacher, what are you, as the TEACHER going to do to protect my child? I believe the teacher was more worried about the score than the other children in the class. I was deeply saddened by this and angered at the same time. Opportunities missed, life lessons not taught, because a teacher could not see what was put right in front of them. My friend's child is still in the choir class, the child is NOT going to the music festival with the class, but the most important thing is the child is getting to sing and enjoy music!

The other incident that occurred this week, actually involved my two younger girls. All three of my girls have played sports all their lives, since 5 years old they have had some sort of a ball in their hands. They have had numerous coaches in their lives. This past week a former coach, spoke in public and referred to Bentli (18) and Demi (15) both having bad attitudes when it came to playing sports. So I will be completely real, I wanted to claw this coaches eyes out! The momma bear in me was ragging!

As a coach we are given young athletes on our team, each athlete will come with different work ethics, different was of responding, different communication skills, different abilities, different characters that will need some guidance. It is our job as a coach to nurture these young athletes, to figure out each individual athlete's way of learning, their talent, their desires. Keyword here people, INDIVIDUAL! We as coaches can not coach a team and think that every athlete on the team is the same. Let them be individuals, let them be their own kind of athlete. As a coach, PUT DOWN YOUR EGO! Coaching is not about the coach, coaching is about the athletes you are coaching. As a coach we need to be building up athletes, never should a coach speak about an athlete in a negative way. Coaching is sometimes not even about the sport you are coaching. It is about teaching young athletes how to overcome adversity, it is teaching young athletes how your character is more important than a "W", it is mentoring young athletes to become strong influences in our society. Coaching is also about getting to know the young athletes put in front of you, not their athletic ability, but maybe getting to know them personally.

I would tell this former coach, you obviously have allowed your ego to get in front of getting to know my girls. You missed a huge opportunity to know two spectacular young athletes, both with a heart of gold. While your adult ego was speaking this week, my girls have cried themselves to sleep because they might lose their dad at a very young age! I hope you feel good about yourself talking about an 18 and 15 year old child.

My ultimate goal is to one day be that coach, that I can influence, inspire, build character and watch young female athletes become strong young ladies! A coach like my husband, that is receiving amazing letters and social media posts about how he has inspired them.

It is an honor and privilege to have the title "Teacher" or "Coach". Embrace it, do great things with it and DO NOT ABUSE IT!

I want everyone to know, Doug loves having visitors. We enjoy our outings. Please if you want to come visit just send me a text and we can arrange it!

Love and Blessings to all

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