He gets a big charge out of it when he sees kids that he's coached over the years and he gets a big "Hi Coach". He has made an impression on many children's lives.
Over the years he has coached some hum dinger kids and had to deal with many a pain in the butt crazy parent. He has had belligerent parents screaming in his face,m spittle flying that he wasn't playing their kid enough. He has had fathers (it's pretty much fathers) screaming at their own children, putting way too much pressure on them. One boy he coached just crumbled and began to sob when he let a ball thought the goal, because he knew that his father would loose it on him. Too often parents forget that this is house league and it's supposed to be fun. For the last few years Christopher has had one win. That's it, one win in about three seasons. He's o.k. with that because his team is having fun. None of the kids has ever complained to him about their lack of a win. He jokes that if this was a paying gig he would have been fired.
Here is what I have to admit, over the years this is something that I have been guilty of myself. I have never taken the hardcore stance that "I paid money, and I'm not spending a penny more!" I have more just forgotten that these individuals are not being paid to help my child. This year I remedied that situation, Elly and I made a gesture of gratitude.
Christopher does not have the patience to coach the little ones. He loves coaching, and has promised Elly that he will coach her, just not quite yet. Elly had a lovely coach, and an adorable assistant coach. They made a difference. They were out there encouraging this group of little rug rats. This is the first introduction that most of them have had to the game of soccer. These are 3, 4 and 5 year olds. They are sitting in the grass picking flowers, they are running off the field mid game, in other words they are being 3, 4 and 5 year olds. Through it all there were her coaches laughing and praising these little tikes.
My go to gift for coaches, well heck everyone is a Tim Horton's gift card. You just can't go wrong with a gift card. Even if you don't like coffee, there's something you will like. The problem is that both of her coaches work at Tim Hortons. They are probably so tired of Tim Hortons that a gift card there for them would be an insult. Elly and I got creative, we made them shirts!
We delivered our gifts to her coaches. Elly was so proud to give them something that she herself had made for them. By giving thanks to her coaches we are accomplishing a bunch of things at once.
First we are acknowledging that we know that these ladies have donated their time to help my child. Although the gift itself has low monetary value, it has huge value in gratitude.
Second we are teaching our children by example. I want to raise thoughtful, grateful children. I do not want them for one second to think that the world owes them anything. When someone does you a kindness you owe it to them and to yourself to acknowledge that kindness whether through words or words and action.
Third I want them to experience the joy of giving, of gratitude. I want them to realize that when we give thanks to someone it not only feels nice to be acknowledged, but it feels wonderful to give.