Put Me In Coach
“Teamwork requires some sacrifice up front; people who work as
a team have to put the collective needs of the group ahead of their individual interests.”
I will be the first to tell you that the first few months of living with the Longhorns has been anything but easy. A lot of internal resistance and external confusion has left its mark all in the name of “safety.” A tremendous amount of fear sufficiently keeps everything and everyone trapped almost in a place of purgatory. Too scared to make THE decision or any decision for fear of putting everyone at risk. But yet she puts everyone at risk anyway. Our fearless yet dictatorial leader doesn’t know what to do and has tears for the guidance of her dear Sarah or Coach Nick.
The firm yet comforting messages from the opposing chair says she has something up her sleeve in her fairy dust bag. Just something I call the “just where ‘what I needed not wanted’ information is kept.” Our current 13 year-old tyrant does what most teens do when fearful, frustrated and tired of everything….kicks and screams with claws and venom towards any movement both good and bad. This almost symbolizes her own conflict of wanting and needing to be both right and wrong. Others live in total fear of secrets alone. And still others yearn for the day when peace will be achieved. And, yes, there are those that also say, “I do it! I do it!” all for just one more flavor of chap stick. And then the non-verbal all feeling soul that cannot seem to be comforted. And then one that continues to grief over the loss of her prized coach wanting nothing more than a job and/or a goal to focus on. The grief and stress can be felt down to the smallest of nerves ever being exposed and in need of a therapeutic root canal.
I can feel something in my mind and body stirring unsure whether or not it could be anxiety or maybe just gas. Still unsure of where I got the feeling but it was as if Sarah was saying, “Dana are you finished making a mess yet?! You always have been hardheaded. Don’t you see your way isn’t getting you anywhere?! Quit fighting the process. Work with it….all of you.” Fairy dust was flying all over the place and wheels were turning in the opposing chair. I always get the “Oh Shit” feeling when she says, “I’ve got an idea.” You know that things are about to ‘get a little more real’ on some level. Anticipation and newest ‘gut messages’ have you praying that you make it back to the house on time.
What happened next stopped me dead in my tracks. She says, “Read this out loud.” Reluctantly, I receive the paper not knowing what lesson the fairy dust had just created. The message reads, “We are going to learn to work together as a team WITHOUT abuse and WITH love.” Almost like my dear coach was standing by whispering in my ear, “It’s been a while but remember I was the coach but now SHE is the coach. It’s ok. It’s time. Your team needs you!” I admit that when I felt his words of wisdom, I had a lump come up in my throat. Because I remember lessons about being a team that said, “There’s no one person bigger or better than the TEAM. You each have to do your individual jobs but you win as a team and lose as a team not as individuals.” From off in a dark corner I see the tired and worn down athlete perk up like she had just been called up to the big leagues saying with excitement, “Put me in coach!”
Everyone covers the playing field, even the little guys with their chap stick and cheap plastic gloves run onto the field not knowing their new jobs or positions on the field. Even “grumpy pants” grabs a glove with a smirk and goes as coaches have all spoken in their own ways. Taken aback by this new coach/old coach moment and bracing for the overwhelming fear about the unknown and overall safety of the system, that still fierce protector let’s out almost a pre-emptive sigh when she asks Sarah, “Mom what do I do?” Her response was “Dana ask her and then follow her guidance. This is where you move beyond FEAR headfirst into TRUST even if all you have is the size of a mustard seed.” She again questions, “But how do I keep us safe?” Her final words of wisdom were, “You do it together.”
“I am a member of a team, and I rely on the team, I defer to it and
sacrifice for it, because the team, not the individual, is the ultimate champion.”