After 3 decades wondering what I should do with my life, I found my calling. From waitress to lifeguard to pro basketball player to journalist to educator, I have taught everything from primary PE to freshman English to learning support.
Whether I am teaching a 6th grader to do a forward roll, a dyslexic child to spell, a 10th grader to understand Shakespeare, a senior to write a personal statement or a ball player to make a jump shop… I am a coach.
When I help kids makes sense of their lives, my life makes sense to me.
I help students discover their strengths, so they can one day navigate solo in our fast paced world filled with overwhelming demands and challenges.
However, when I was growing up, coaching was not an option. How could a girl have a coaching career if female athletes were non-existent and women weren’t allowed to participate in sports?
Today, coaching is in vogue. Coaching specialties run the gamut including life and personal coaches, to health/wellness/fitness/ coaches to business/leadership/executive coaches to organizing/ career/creativity coaches to parenting and retirement coaches. Even ADHD coaches are listed to identify tools to assist those with attention deficit hyperactivity and to develop positive coping strategies for every day life and specific tasks.
When I randomly googled transition coaches, Paula Ray’s website popped up. She explained the that transitional coaches base their principle on different disciplines, and states that her coaching philosophy is rooted in biomimicry. Huh? It’s no surprise that Paula Ray, who sounds like a New Age guru, is based in Del Mar, California.
Here is a list of some of the transition coach specialties.
- Transition from one extreme socio-economic level to another
- Transition from a stress-filled negative life into a life you love
- Transition from one extreme socio-economic level to another in a short period of time
- Transition out of a corporate career
- Transition into your most enjoyable, rewarding and healthy retirement
- Transition in marital status
- Transition from an energy draining career to an exhilarating one
- Transition through unexpected health care challenges
But hey, I am not knocking the career. No way. After my parents, coaches had the single greatest influence in my life.
Now everyone from CEOs to writers to retirees discuss their favorite buzzword, my coach. Once upon a time, coaching was learned almost by osmosis from playing a sport, now college degrees in coaching abound. Ohio University offers a Coaching Education master’s program to prepare coaches with the knowledge they need to become elite coaches.
Hopefully more female athletic coaches will join the ranks because they serve as excellent role models for girls. Like men have known for years, sports teaches life lessons and teams provide the best training grounds for the work place.
Yep, everything I needed to know I learned in basketball.
- Life is not fair. Get over it.
- Leave your ego in the locker room
- Pass to the open player
- Rebound, rebound, rebound
- Learn from each mistake
- Hustle at all times
- Lose graciously
- Win humbly
- Always credit teammates
- Never give up
With all the emphasis on coaching nowadays, I propose we add a new celebration to the calendar.
In loving memory of my grandfather Ralph « Mac » McKinzie, a coach extraordinaire, I hereby declare December 7th as the official Thank Your Mentor Day!
Have you hugged your coach today?