Volunteering is simple. It’s based on your talents, passions and time. What do you like to do? What would you like to share or teach someone?
For me, that’s writing, talking to people or my favorite, basketball.
When I was asked to coach for new basketball team this winter, I knew immediately I wanted to do it. However, sometimes I feel that others close in my life don’t understand why I coach. Why would I give up my weekends? Why would I give up Dancing With the Stars? And why do I coach for free?
My answer is always that it’s about being a positive role model for a group of 13 girls who are 13 to 14 years old. Think back to when you were in seventh or eighth grade. Was it an easy time in your life?
For some of my kids, their home life may not be great. Or school is hard and their teacher doesn’t understand what they’re going through. And so-called “friends” are few and far between. Basketball is their one escape.
So, I strive to be a constant encouraging influence in their life for that hour and a half every Monday and Wednesday night during practice. All of my girls know my age, that I not only graduated college but obtained my master’s degree, and that I am independent.
I want them to see and to know they can be whatever they want to be. I teach them to recognize their inner confidence, that they know they have the ability to play a sport well, and learn how to be an amazing person because of that.
It was because of sports that I learned time management. I learned how to get along with people that I may not have liked, I learned how to be competitive, how to use critical thinking, to be flexible and to read people. All of those things that people need to know and use on a daily basis.
Through my actions, I hope that I am giving courage to the next generation of girls to expect more from themselves and to dominate on the court.