Letters to the Editor

Local coaches do more than teach the game

Here is the thing: The Vashon Island Soccer Club fall soccer season is now complete. On top of the many volunteer hours put in to run the club, a lucky few had the honor of coaching a team and got to spend several hours a week with the kids, doing what they love to do. The kids drive the coaches crazy; the coaches drive the kids crazy; everyone works through all that. As the coach you win a few, lose a few, put on some Band-Aids and apply some ice, and hopefully impart a few life lessons along the way, and then the season ends.

There is this gap, this unfulfilled gap, as the kids go back to their life, and these wonderful humans you were getting to spend several hours a week with just evaporate. My friend and coach extraordinaire Bruce Morser pointed this out to me some years back, and it is just always so true.

So there are really only two solutions: Start the next round of practices now, or you take on coaching other sports. Basketball, wrestling, lacrosse are winter/early spring sports that can always use a few more good coaches, so that is the good news.

There is a phrase for you: You are the “usual suspects.” You coach multiple sports tirelessly (not to mention being on school committees, parks committees etc.), and this way you get to see these kids through several cycles each year and avoid the “gap.”

Eleven-time world surfing champion Kelly Slater once said, “Surfing is like the Mob or something, (once you are in) you are not getting out.”  The same could be said of coaching.

— Greg Martin

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