In the beginning of our cross country season, I sat the girls down and explained that I had two main goals for them. First, I wanted them to come to practice each day with the desire to improve. Second, I wanted them to have fun doing it. I told them that if either of these things wasn't happening, then there was a problem and we needed to talk about it. I have almost sixty girls on my team, all of various levels and though I didn't feel like I was asking a lot, I knew that I was giving them something to think about. I haven't spoken to any of them personally since this talk, but I've noticed an obvious shift in attitude and desire which has made my job significantly easier and more pleasant. On Tuesday, after the long week-end, my five year old woke up and told me she didn't want to go to school anymore. The extra day off was clearly working against me and rather than feel refreshed and ready to go she was hiding under her covers and claiming that she was too tired to get ready. My patience was wearing thin as I made lunches and fed my other daughter. Finally, after about thirty minutes I realized she wasn't coming down. I went upstairs and sat down next to the mound of covers that was my daughter (she was not happy about this shot btw).
Grace, not having fun.
I was reaching for something, anything, to get her going. Time was short and my creativity was lacking so I said, "Grace, as a mother I have two main goals for you". Really? you ask as you're reading this. And, yes, I know, but it was all I could come up with and, to be honest, my role as mom felt synonymous to my role as a coach at that moment. So, I continued, "I want you to be happy and have fun and I want you to try to be a good person every day. If you can do these things, you will make my job as a mom so much easier." This was a slight variation on my original request to my runners, but ultimately, they were still the same goals. She was paying attention now and though she didn't have a lot to say about it, I could tell the wheels were spinning. I am hoping the outcome of this talk will be similar to that of my team, but we'll see what happens. I am a mom, a coach, a wife and an athlete. When it comes down to it, it is my goal to be better at all of these roles and, more importantly, to have fun doing it. Thanks to my girls and my athletes who continuously remind me of this goal and help me get closer to reaching it on a daily basis.