Dear Coaches: A Love Letter

Dear Coaches,

Looking back, I can’t remember a time in my life without you.

I remember. Me, a scrawny girl of five, struggling to lift a saddle atop a grumpy pony’s withers. You, waiting for me—insisting I do it myself. Offering no help despite my crocodile tears.

Because…learning—mastery, follows two things; failure and perseverance. Only then can success be made real.

Thank you for what has become one of the most important lessons of my life.

Thank you for standing by, for insistence, for patience, for knowledge, and for your time.

From the barn and arena, you and your lessons have followed me to the volleyball court, the basketball court, out on the track, and so much further.

Looking back, you are both good and bad. Comprised of both fond and painful memories. In every case you are influential, important, and impactful. Thank you for being those things.

I didn’t recognize it at the time. I didn’t know it then. I know it now.

I know I owe you much—my drive, learned confidence, sense of self, yearning to do better, love of the game, passion for sport, so many tears and droplets of sweat, irreproducible joys and deeply felt sorrows, an engrained need for team, and a desire to lead.These parts of me, they are as much yours as mine.

Your echoes are in each failure and every perseverance leading to success. Thank you for sharing them with me.

You are the constant— the because of, the in spite of, the along with, the thanks to.

You are in me, and now…

I am like you.

Now…they call me Coach.