Way back when, during a time my belly was just starting to grow with Brayden inside, I signed up to coach 6th grade volleyball. I was teaching at the time, so taking on a "gig" that paid extra money and was also a sport I enjoyed seemed like a good fit. And it was. I worked with two other teachers, and it was a very fun season.
Fast forward a dozen years, and now I'm getting the chance to take a go at it again. This time, not paid, and only as an "assistant" coach - and to third graders vs. sixth graders (and let me tell you, that makes a HUGE difference). But, I said "yes", and I'm thankful I did, because it's really a lot of fun.
So much fun, in fact, that on Tuesday, when I was at the end of my rope physically - during that hour of practice, somehow I felt just fine. (But soon after, I crashed). Last night was Jonna's (the head coach) turn to feel lousy - she had the stomach flu so she wisely chose to stay home and asked me to run it.
I think it's just what I needed to commit all the way with these girls. There was a part of me that second-guessed my ability to contribute. While I played in high school.....it ended earlier than I'd hoped as I was short, had decent abilities as a setter and consistent back row plays, but just couldn't compete with the athletically dominant players that comprised the women of my class (like Heather who sometimes comments on my blog!). (Consistently, our high school was state ranked). But, you know what? I'm actually better than any of these third graders, and because I had a lot of years being instructed on just "how to do what I was supposed to", I can contribute. (I can also relate to Mikayla and the three other girls that are shorter than her on just how intimidating this sport can be when you are small.....but, due to the special rules for the third grade, you really can get the serve over the net!).
So, last night, we ran drills, we scrimmaged, we talked about "what NOT to do with the volleyball....i.e. - don't KICK it!" and I even established a new way to join me when I circled them up to listen to instructions.....if they had knee pads, they get to slide in. There's about 17 girls that all practice together, but will be split into 3 teams when "games" begin. So, it's a lot of girls, and I'm still messing up names, but it was a ton of fun. I have a feeling I'm going to be sad when this short season of five weeks is all over.