For as long as I can remember my dad has always been a coach. He has coached many different types of sports and many different levels, including my YMCA league soccer games, high school basketball and assisting at the college level.
I remember growing up when he came home late from practice and told my mom and me all about his team. He was always so excited for the start of a new season, especially basketball.
We have a yearly tradition, before the start of the basketball season, the whole family watches the movie Hoosiers. I don’t really know why my dad choose that movie to watch, but it is a great movie.
Whether it’s a good luck charm or superstition, it is something my family has done for as long as I can remember.
There are many advantages to being a coach’s daughter. I have gotten free sweatpants, sweatshirts, T-shirts, you name it. My closet is full of shirts with school logos on them, schools which I have never attended or visited. I was always almost guaranteed to get awesome seats at all his games. It may have only been junior high or high school games, but hey, when you’re 5 years old and get to sit right behind the players bench, you would think it was pretty cool, too.
Another advantage of being a coach’s daughter is being able to have him coach most of your grade school teams and YMCA teams. My dad was my basketball coach in fourth, fifth and sixth grade. He coached my YMCA soccer and basketball teams when I was in second and third grade. Our soccer team, the Red Wolf-Rangers, was awesome.
With the many advantages, there are also some disadvantages. Right now my dad coaches a girls’ Amatuer Athletic Union team, the Lady Lightning. Since he has started there, I have been roped into working the door and concessions during my winter and summer breaks.
One of my worst memories I have of my dad coaching was when I was in high school and I ended up having to play for his traveling basketball team.
As a side note, I love to play sports, but I suck. It is pathetic. You would think I would have some athletic ability. However, this is not the case. By the time I got to high school, I fully accepted my lack of talent in most things involving athletic ability and hand-eye coordination and no longer played for my school’s team sports.
My dad was coaching for a different traveling basketball team at this time, The Illinois Valley Stars. The team had an away tournament that weekend and my mom and I went to watch his games.
The weekend was going fine. The Stars were not winning, but other than that everything was great. Then my dad found out some of his players could not come to the second day of the tournament, which left him with only four players for two games. So who did they decide to sub into the game? Me.
This was the worst game experience I have ever had. My dad’s assistant coach looked horrified when I stepped onto the court. I did not score one basket in either game.
By some miracle we won that game. Not that I helped. I was mostly just another body on the court. The most I contributed to the games was running up and down the court.
Story by Jaci Kohn, Sports editor