Alison Belbin’s story in the Globe and Mail is the kind of article that gets shared on Facebook with the caption: “THIS.” (Insert praising hands emoji here)
As an impassioned volunteer coach, she begins her story by sharing the kind of gritty personal details that could make even the most empathetic person feel uncomfortable. Then, as quick as she pulled you in, she stops you in your tracks. Subtext: let’s get down to business.
Alison has some things she wants to get off her chest about coaching youth. More specifically, she wants parents to step back and check themselves before interfering with their child’s team and experience.
She illustrates the softer side of coaching much more beautifully than I could possibly explain here. More than that, she creates a moment for reflection regardless of your role in sport. Once you’ve read Alison’s story, come back and check out these resources for coaches, parents, and read my letter to parents from a referee.
Her words certainly affected me. The caring environment that Alison provides for her players is what I remember most, and am lucky to have had, since my early days as an athlete. As I continue to transition from player to referee and coach, I hope to never forget the meaningful moments of sport, and how they had nothing to do with playing at all.
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