Coaching and Teaching

I teach a number of young men who are also on my youth lacrosse team. The team meets once per week for 3 hours of skills and strategy practice. I find it particularly enjoyable to see the kids that I have in class day in, day out, in a totally unrelated environment. However, the more I coach, the more I realize that I have found my way into another classroom…

The boys I coach in lacrosse are not all of my best. But it’s very interesting to see their personalities respond to a different dynamic. here is an example:

Student A in class: Top notch in the classroom and very particular about his grades. Very unsatisfied with anything less than a high A. Like to ask very individualized questions before class to make sure that he gets the best grade possible, no matter the weight of the item in question.

Student A in lacrosse: A new player who is pretty athletic; however, expects to be really good right now…despite only playing one lacrosse game ever. Doesn’t like to get hit too hard in a game. Not interested in getting all the glory, but wants to get his share of playing time. Shows frustration often, especially when playing against more experienced players.

I see SO MUCH similarity in the way this young man hopes to perform both in and out of the classroom. His frustration comes out in lacrosse…I have NEVER seen him angry at school.

I wonder if these various instances of the student’s personality and expression will change as he gets older. Will he become more testy and frustrated when success is limited? Will he strive for every little piece of perfection but remain patient as he works towards that perfection?

Ahh, the world of middle school. Kids grow up quick, so it’s been pretty great to see them do so on various playing fields!

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