One of my favorite parts of coaching is sharing the big moments with the players, sometimes during a great victory and sometimes in the agony of defeat. Although winning and losing are important aspects of any athletics program, there are moments in competition that will have a much larger impact on a student-athlete than any outcome.
This year, I have the privilege of serving as the assistant coach of the Middle School Girls’ Soccer team. Earlier this season, we were in a hard-fought game versus one of our rivals. During the first half of the game, one of our veterans and leaders of the team made an error which opened up a great opportunity for the opposing team. Even though our opponent didn’t take advantage of the error, our player was visibly upset at her mistake.
I saw this as a great teachable moment for one of the leaders of our team. At halftime, I took her aside and encouraged her to shake off the mistake in order to bounce back in the second half. She played the second half as if the error never happened – it was her best half, and I commend her on her resilience and perseverance.
Even though we lost this game, an important moment happened to ensure the growth of a leader and player. She showed resilience, which she will be able to continue to use both on and off the field. My hope is that I can continue to take advantage of these teachable moments in order to help our players grow into capable young women and men – these moments that will always be above winning and losing.