Week one done! The practices felt surreal. I was super nervous to meet the girls and run a practice. I kept thinking “what if they don’t like it?” “what if they don’t like me?” “what if I can’t convey the lesson correctly?” All of those doubts went away when we sat down in the circle at the beginning of practice.
The girls were so excited, they could not sit still and everyone wanted to share. Their excitement helped to ease my nerves and I was able to start making connections with the girls, which ironically was the theme of the first lesson.
I’m coaching for a community team in Chico, so we have girls from 4 different schools on our team. When I did the program, it was just girls from my school, so I already kind of knew my teammates, so this was a new experience for me. It was so cool to see all of the girls making new friends with girls they had never met before.
My team is full of big personalities and the girls love to chat with each other. It is a fun challenge to keep the girls focused, but also allow them to express themselves and for friendships with those around them. I remember being a GOTR girl and always waiting to talk with my friends, so as a coach I am trying to find a balance between keeping the girls focused on the lesson and also fostering their new friendships.
Some of the girls take the lessons more seriously than others. It was apparent when we did our wrap up and reflections at the end of practice. We had to discuss what we learned from the lesson that day and some girls were quick to say silly answers like “getting sweating” or “losing a pen.” Others shared that they learned how to make new connections and learned how each person on a team is an important part of the whole puzzle.
I think as a coach it can be easy to get discouraged when you get answers that are not serious. I had to remind myself that I was one of the girls that had silly answers to the questions and appeared to not be taking it seriously. Even though I wasn’t always thoughtful with my answers, the days that I laughed the hardest with my friends are typically the lessons I remember the most.
The second day I was able to connect more with the girls one on one. When we were doing the workout for the day, I got to run laps with the girls and have conversations with them. The activity was that the girls would get a choice and they had to run one way if it was an easy choice and then they would run the other way if it was a difficult choice. I got to talk to the girls about their choices and I feel like I was able to get a better picture of who they were as individuals.
Just after one week I feel like I have started to build relationships with the girls on the team and I can’t wait to keep creating deeper connections with them. I remember how much I looked up to my coaches and I want to be a role model for my team.