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LEAD BY EXAMPLE Suri Mehta, a ninth grader at St. Agnes Academy, coached a co-ed soccer team for 8 to 10 year olds.
This year, I got the chance to play soccer with my teammates. I also coached kids younger than myself. The same enjoyment, laughter, and thrill I feel on the soccer field is what I felt while coaching.
The kids’ competitiveness, smiles, and laughter are the best parts of coaching. For example, the kids wanted me to try to score on them before practice one day. They all got into the goal to prevent me from scoring, and each player had a huge smile as they worked together. I smiled as I watched them bond.
Another practice I remember was when one of the kids said they had seen one of their teammates at the grocery store and they both said hi to each other. I was in awe of how soccer connects and builds friendships with teammates on and off of the field, just like it still does with my own teammates.
Coaching kids has been such a positive influence in my life, as the kids taught me how to look at things from a new perspective and from a coach’s lens. Coaching comes with lots of responsibilities and an amazing support system.
I am honestly so grateful for my assistant coach, Coach Fred Love, as he filled in for me when I had my own club games, and the team moms who handled all the details with snacks, drinks, and the team party. I am also so thankful for Mr. Derick Bugg, as he supported me throughout this coaching journey.
Every week, I looked forward to coming onto the fields and being around the kids. Coaching has reminded me of the simple joys of the game, such as the score doesn’t matter and how fun it is getting snacks and drinks. At the age of 14, I am so lucky I was able to experience this wonderful opportunity and look forward to coaching again in the spring.
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