This evening I packed up the girls and headed up the road to Mercersburg where I met an eclectic mix of individuals on the field to play a little pick up soccer. The group included children from 8 through college, a few faculty members, other coaches and a few of the girls varsity players. These few girls were the main reason why I came to the pickup game tonight. I will be coaching at this school private boarding school in the fall, starting early September. The evening ended up being even more wonderful that I expected. My girls met up with friends and played on the side lines while I ran around of the field attempting to bring my A game. My main goal was to chat with the girls and see what they could do. I was interested to play with the other coaches and get a feel of what type of instruction and support they provide.
The experience was lovely. I ran on the field and felt a bit clumsy and out of sorts but it was so enjoyable I only allowed this to nag at me a bit. The weather was cool and felt more like an October evening than August. I chatted with the coaches and players. The girls I met that will be on the team were simply lovely people; kind, respectful and sweet. One of our best players was babysitting a faculty members child and she had my girls join in so I could play for a bit. My friend Pete, who was the master mind behind my new position brought his girls up to play before he left to bring them back home for bed.
In the distance we heard another school’s marching band practice for the coming football season. I looked around to see the sun setting over the mountains, the beautiful green manicured lawns lining the schools stunning architecture. I saw my girls playing and laughing with friends, I saw wonderful young adults supporting and playing with elementary aged kids. You could feel their happiness and optimism flow out into the world.
I can’t wait to join them next week and meet more of the players. I know I will love each one but it will take time to build the relationships and trust. It pulled at my heart strings a touch, as I miss my girls from my prior school. I am so glad I keep in touch with many of them but I miss seeing them everyday and sharing a little bit of their lives. Many of them are graduated from college, working or in grad school. A few are engaged and beginning the path to build their own families. I was so at ease at my prior school and with my students and players. I hope I can build that support and connection with this group.