I can check off a Bucket List item! Bucket List Item T-Ball Coach … check! We all have a list of things in back of our minds that we want to do if life. Often times, it’s not a tangible list but a list that sits it our mind and we review it from time to time. Before my son, my list was things like travel over-seas, see the Space Needle, and things like that which were in some respects superficial. My list changed when my son was born and I built up the skills and confidence for this fatherhood gig. Now my bucket is full of things like coaching, scouts, Disney World and the list goes on.
A couple of months ago a mass email popped up in my inbox. The email was from the sports association that my son plays t-ball with. The email was asking for volunteers to coach. Rachel encouraged me to answer the email. I thought about it for a few minutes and figured ‘hey, what the heck!’ I emailed the T-Ball Director back and was like I use a wheelchair if there is anything I can do let me know. I left it at that not expecting to hear back. Less than 30 minutes, I get an email – YOU ARE NOW A HEAD COACH. Excuse you? Whaaat??
Things were not rosy in the beginning. I could sense some doubt in the parents and my assistant coaches and I had to build some chemistry. After the first 2 practices I decided to tackle the doubt from the parents head on. I had a meeting with my assistant coaches and they both confirmed my gut feeling. So, in an email, I addressed the elephant rolling around on the baseball diamond. The practice following my email I had a 20 minute Q&A session for the parents and kids. I let the kids play around with my wheelchair. The parent’s really didn’t have any questions and the kid’s questions were related to my wheelchair rather than my disability.
After that email and the Q&A session. The doubt dissipated and that’s when I became Coach!
I’m sure when people hear I’m the head coach they think.. huh… HOW? I’ll let you in on a secret … I asked myself the SAME THING!
I have 2 assistant coaches who do not have disabilities. They do all the physical work in practice. I come up with the drills and how practice will run. While they are doing the drills I’m rolling around pointing things out that they may not have seen or caught on to. I also encourage the boys and call them out when they goof off or try slide by. There is another part of being a Head Coach – things that happen off the field… communication with parents, communication with the association, there is quite a bit of administrative stuff that the head coach does off the field. I handle all of that.
So, what’s on your bucket list? Is there something on your list that you’re not sure about? Head over to the Wheelchair Daddy Facebook page and let’s talk about it! See ya over there.