Week one of soccer at the Academy is almost complete. Tomorrow we drive to Garrison Forest School to play our first scrimmage. It was an overwhelming week. I was bombarded with so much excitement, so much information, meeting so many new people, trying to remember names, learning the etiquette of private school and just finding my way through the weeds. I am not sure how I am doing to be quite honest. My brain is on overload, my body is tired, and I have not quite found my place on the team. I am far from building the type of relationship I had my with students and players at my previous school. It is a different world and I feel unsure of my place and where I can help.
Everyone is incredibly nice, helpful and kind. The student’s have such an amazing set of resources available at there finger tips. I was standing out in the field listening to Coach Shots give amazing instruction to his team on 1st defenders and 2nd defenders as I watched the Outdoor Ed department lead a group of mountain bikers through the campus. The person leading this group won a grueling stage race that covered two countries and finished in South Africa. He was the only American to win in the history of the race. Later, I sat with the team, as the school counselor and Golf coached, discussed sports psychology and ways to avoid negative thought. The PE teacher and basketball coach was a professional player that competed nationally. Every person I met was an expert in their field and was 100% committed to helping the students build an amazing future.
Intimidated? Yes I am! Overwhelmed? Yes I am! I feel old and slow, out of shape and useless at times. My coaching I have done in the past has been successful because of the relationships I was able to build with my players. I was ying to the head coaches yang. I look at Coach Shots and I see a more knowledgeable version of myself. He is kind, gentle, caring and selfless. He is understands the needs of the girls and how to push them without breaking their bodies or their spirits. I am not sure how I can help when I feel so separate from every part of the program. This is no ones fault but my own. I know these relationships will build and I will find my way. I will get in better soccer shape and I will find my voice. I am thrilled with the chance to be a small part of this amazing school but I am feeling a bit out of place. I hope I can live up to the high expectations that are set out in front of me. I hope I can support the team and the other coaches where they need me. I have taken this step and in the grand scheme of the world this is high school soccer. I need to keep perspective and make it through the transition.