If you’ve known me for awhile, you know that I love sports. I also love coaching and this is a huge way I can reprezent Christ (reprezent98201!) doing something I love working with teenagers while getting paid (very little).
I have two coaching jobs…one in the fall and spring and another in the winter. Here’s the rundown…
Fall and spring: middle school rowing coach at Everett Rowing Association
Back in February 2012, while we were pregnant with Serafina, we brainstormed how to bring in extra money while I was home for the following school year on maternity leave. Dan, the awesome guy I was coaching basketball under at the time, suggested I see if Everett Rowing (ERA) had any openings after seeing kids at his school wearing ERA sweatshirts and seeing signs for their club.
I emailed the director with my qualifications (previous coaching experience, collegiate rowing experience) and to inquire about an open master’s coaching position for the fall and within a few hours, she responded asking if I could start the next day coaching the middle schoolers. Since masters are anybody over 27, and I was quite intimidated by this but thought I’d try anyway, I jumped at the middle school position. I’ve been coaching the middle school team since and have loved watching the kids learn more about rowing and grow in their overall confidence and athletic skill. It’s also a great group of people to work with seeing as it takes a certain kind of person to give so much time to a sport like rowing. Driving home from Seattle to coach in Everett my last year at The Center School definitely cemented my desire to dig in and be a part of our local community.
While this video has nothing to do with ERA as a club (simply a pretty/convenient place to interview some of our rowers who’s DC trip is a little shifted around with the shutdown), you do get to see a little bit of where I work as well as a cute cameo of Maya…because yes, she does come to practice. 🙂
Winter: JV/varsity assistant girls basketball coach at Everett High School
This is the new big change (and the reason for the recap). Sure, if you are friends with me on Facebook, you already know but I also wanted to take a chance to reflect on my previous coaching position and look ahead to my new one.
For the ’10-’11, ’11-’12, and ’12-’13 basketball seasons, I was a varsity assistant at my alma mater, King’s High School. Not only was it fun to be part of a place that I had invested so much of my childhood adolescence, it was also great to be on the giving end of athletics rather than receiving. I developed a whole new appreciation for the effort my coaches put in during my years of athletics and learned so much about coaching the whole athlete, not just the sport side. I got to coach with two amazing gals that coached me in high school as well as two gals I played with. We were quite the lineup of 5 assistant coaches under Dan (his entourage, we joked 😉 ). We had three great seasons, including a trip to state each year, and made tons of memories with the girls and with each other as coaches. You really can’t trade working with people who have known you for at least all of your adult life, if not longer.
(That’s me with the crazy hair and wild banshee scream after our last-second win over Okanogan in the 2013 state tournament)
Coaching at King’s was so great because I got to interact with well-behaved, driven, and [for the most part] positive teenagers who shared the same faith. This was a complete 180 degree turn from my teaching job at The Center School – no sports (so no coaching opportunities) and while the kids were decently behaved, they definitely didn’t share my faith and challenged me as a teacher and person on a daily basis. I loved being at Center because it was my mission field and these difficulties were opportunities for me to share Jesus’ love without saying a word. Leaving work and heading to practice meant I got to arrive at a place where high school girls wanted to learn from me because of their inherent drive, not something I placed in them. Sure, I enjoyed encouraging them and attempted to inspire them, but for the most part I simply got to coach and enjoy the game.
This last season, I was on maternity leave from my teaching job so King’s was my only interaction with teenagers (and the middle school rowers are really good kids so it doesn’t take much to get them to pay attention and work hard). I realized that my out-of-the-home vocational calling was to work with public school kids, whether in the classroom or on the court. These years I am home having kiddos, we are following God’s calling to raise our kids. But I felt like I wasn’t using my talents and giftings as much as I could when I was at Center.
Seeing as we live down the street from Everett High School (EHS), we’d go by there all the time when we’d walk Maya. God started planted dreams in me of being a part of Everett High School’s staff in some way and I kept waiting for His leading to jump in. I shared this with a dear friend in June who encouraged me to see if there were any coaching jobs available. What do you know…there was an assistant girls basketball coach position at Everett High School. She wouldn’t let me not apply for it so I sat down and completed the application right there.
Another serendipitous piece that fell into place was that I had been doing one on one coaching with an EHS player who played summer ball for Dan (the King’s coach). This sort of acted as a practical interview seeing as her dad called the EHS head coach as soon as he heard I had applied for the job. I didn’t ask him too but he seemed to think I was worth keeping around.
I asked if I could meet the varsity coach and find out if we’d even get along. During our informal meeting, we discovered many commonalities as well as the fact that I fit 3 out of 4 qualities they were looking for in a JV/varsity assistant coach: female, college basketball experience, prior coaching experience, and being a teacher in the building. I formally interviewed for the job in mid-July and was offered it a few days later. Dan, my then current head coach at King’s, is friends with the EHS head coach and gave me a glowing reference.
I am grateful for the many things I learned from him about basketball skills and drills, game time decisions, team motivation, and character building. Of all the coaches I’ve worked with, played under, or known, Dan Taylor is one of the most inspiring, encouraging, perceptive, patient, motivating, and fun coaches I’ve shared the game of basketball with. I am so excited to bring the things I’ve learned under him, my college coaches, and the many coaches that poured into my life through my adolescence to EHS.
Here’s to what God does in and through me during this new adventure!