Letter to the editor: Coaching goes beyond sports
November 12, 2021
According to Merriam-Webster, a coach is “one who instructs players in the fundamentals of a sport and directs team strategy.”
There is so much missing from that definition. In late July, Otto Berti asked me if I’d help coach the Superior JV boys soccer team and assist varsity. I took the leap. Not just me, but my family let me be gone weeknights and Saturdays. It was a lot, but the reward was great.
One of the things we talked about was the difference between a team and a family. Team does not equal family. Family loves unconditionally without a required common goal. Teams are formed around an objective: ours was winning soccer games. I didn’t expect invitations to Thanksgiving dinner.
Being a part of this team helped me understand definitions not found in the dictionary. After we lost our division championship games, guys came up and hugged me, thanking me. Otto showed that this isn’t just a sport with players on the field, it is much more.
Coaches love their sport; the team doesn’t become a family but certainly resembles it. Some of the greatest relationships in life are formed with those who face adversity head-on. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose.
These lessons apply every day, making each player a better person while teaching devotion to fitness. If you or your kids are thinking about joining a sports team, remember this story.
Or try it yourself and you’ll see. Being a coach and a player on a team is something special, what it truly means can only be found by talking with someone. Ask any player on our varsity team, they’ll fill in the gaps that Merriam-Webster couldn’t.