Library Diva's Guide to Volunteering…

{April 19, 2011}   Coaching for Purpose…

It’s funny how when you do a job for 40+ hours a week it bleeds into the rest of your life. On some of those days when I’m not managing library volunteers, I coach girls volleyball. 15-year-old girls to be exact. This past weekend we had a tournament and with 15-year-old girls comes 15-year-old girl drama. That I can handle. It’s the parents that sometimes I can’t, but this weekend was different. I was without an assistant coach, so with the permission of the girls, I asked each one of their parents to volunteer coach with me from the bench. It’s probably the best thing I’ve done all season.

People need a purpose. It was interesting that when I asked them to step over to the bench with me and take over a time out, how quiet things got. It’s very different in the huddle then it is from the sideline. You’ve got 8 girls looking at you like “tell me what to do, coach.”  I must say, this group of parents really stepped up. They were encouraging, helpful and happy to be on the bench with me. I call all the parents by their daughter’s name, Mr. Katie, Mrs. Kelly, Momma Emma, Mr. Abby. It’s easier on me and that’s why I do it. I only had some trouble when during an official’s time out to do a line up check for the other team, Mr. Katie walked out on the court with his Pepsi, straw in mouth,  to chat with our girls. I had to yell for him to come back…can’t do that, Mr. Katie, the other team will get a point. He strolled back. He was cool with that. All was good in his world.

As with any group, there is always  one in the bunch that takes their role very seriously and for me its Mr. Jaimie. He’s our team medic. Rotating elbows, applying ice, band-aids, recommending stretches and such. After a few games he put together a tackle box full of supplies, tape, pre-wrap, ice packs, padding, gauze. He said the one thing he questioned about getting or not was Quick Clot. I was a little unsure of that choice…were we expecting grenade blasts? shrapnel? machine gun fire? Soon after he told me he had seen a power hit into the face of the opposing team on another court, blood gushing from the nose of the girl who took the hit to the face…he crossed his arms and snapped his fingers in an “aww dang it/shucks” kind of way. He should have gotten the Quick Clot. He’d get some for us for the next tournament. None of our girls were going to bleed out on his watch.

That kind of passion and dedication elevated him from Mr. Jaimie to Doc Jaimie. He liked that. He has purpose, and that’s all that matters.


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