Friday, September 12, 2008

Gotta Love 'em!

I've been coaching junior high volleyball for six years now. When I started, I never imagined how much I would come to love this job, these girls, and this age. 
I love it that junior highers some times come to practice in a skirt because they forgot their clothes or in patent leather shoes because they forgot their shoes. I love it that they will play in matches with just one sock or one kneepad because they shared the other one with a friend who misplaced hers. 

I love it that they are often more interested in dancing to the warm-up music than actually warming-up for the game. And that they know which songs are performed by Miley Cyrus and which by Hannah Montanna. On van rides, I've been introduced to the soundtrack from High School Musical 2 and Ice Princess and have come to enjoy both, especially with 14 voices belting out the lyrics to each and every song. 
I love it that when the girls are on the court, every play is a complete surprise. I might witness a "swing-and-a-miss" or the most professional looking bump-set-spike I've ever seen. And there is NOTHING like watching a girl accomplish something for the very first time. 

I love it that my girls cheer the loudest for the slowest and most uncoordinated girls on the team. 

I love it that these girls will sing every word to "Come Thou Fount of Every Blessing" and in the next minute they are singing the "Big Booty" game. And I know that when they sing, "bind my wand'ring heart to thee," they have not even begun to grasp the gravity of those words. 

I love it that at this age, the girls are no longer children and can understand reason. And that they are not yet teenagers and are therefore willing to be reasoned with. 
I love it that every girl (all 23 of them) has eagerly volunteered to lead devotions before each game. I love listening to them read their favorite verses and give their interpretation of what the verse means and what is means to them. I am captivated by their faith -- it is wholehearted, somewhat misunderstood, and still mysterious. They talk about their Jesus with childlike wonder and I often find them in conversation with each other about what it means to be a Christian. (I'm not making this up - it blows me away!) 

I love it that when we passed an accident on the highway the other night, they stopped everything to pray that the people involved would be okay. They were completely oblivious to the fact that the accident appeared to be unsurvivable. 

These girls -- in all of their naivety and innocence -- teach me about myself. They make me have more fun, relax more, focus on the big picture, and grow in my desire to know Jesus. Coaching volleyball has made me more competitive, challenged my patience, and reminded me what it means to be a servant. 

I love it that God has used 11, 12, and 13 year-olds to enrich my life. Because of them, I laugh more, know more, and have expanded my understanding of true character. 
People often ask me how much I get paid to coach volleyball. Somehow, I just can't sum-up the pay in terms of dollars and cents. The rewards are SO much greater. 


julieldivine said...

what a neat post! i loved reading more about what coaching means to you!

Megan said...

That's so great Becky...sometimes I wish we were those little girls still playing Volleyball. My countdown is for a trip that my family is taking to Hawaii over Thanksgiving week. I was so excited that I had to start a countdown and vowed to write a blog entry every day until the countdown is has been challenging at times, but I love being able to write about my day somewhere. Tell Mark hi for me!

Tarah said...

You are the coach that every jr. high girl should have! Thanks for sharing your heart.