Women in Coaching: A Christmas Message about Sport and Life

A time to Celebrate!! Wow, just days before Christmas and things just don’t slow down very much.  In BC, our third straight weekend of playdowns just finished and the fourth one is coming up in January. Even though we all need to take a break, the curling season just does not stop.  All those coaches out there who are assisting teams in their playoffs run-up and trying to get ready for Christmas bring back my memories of those days……practice, shop, practice, bake Christmas cookies, practice, entertain, practice and enjoy Christmas. The holidays, albeit a crazy time, are always a very special time.  It is a time to celebrate and a time to remember the people around you, the people you have met, the ones that are special in your lives and the ones that are no longer here. I have mentioned before the power and wonder of sport – how it can bring people together from all over the world, and create lifelong friendships.  Together we share a passion. It is important to me, during this time, that I want those that have touched my life to know that your actions are not forgotten. Thank you to all, who have made my world a better place.  To those I have competed against, thank you for your fierceness and fairness.  For those who have coached me, thank you for your guidance and learnings.  For those that I have coached, I hope that you have been able to retain, at least, one important learning that will be with you through your lifetime.  To all my coaching colleagues, thank you for sharing your knowledge and allowing me to learn.  To those I will meet in the future, thank you for allowing me into your life and I look forward to sharing our experiences and knowledge and wisdom. I want you to share with me in thanking one very special person who I had the privilege of knowing.   This friend taught me some very valuable lessons, like fighting till you can’t fight anymore, and have an infectious attitude and smile because what you do affects those around you, both in life and in sport.  Anita Cochrane, my friend and coaching colleague, passed away back in October.  I know you are watching over us Anita and I want to thank you so much for ALL you have given me and taught me, both in sport and in life.  I will always cherish our times together and will never ever forget you my friend. So my message here is very simple.  Sport is awesome and so is life!! Remember to thank those who have contributed to your life.  Remember those that are no longer with you.  And always look forward to the future with open arms, because there is so much that will be coming your way.  Cherish every moment. Athletes – don’t ever forget the gifts – time, energy and experiences – that your coaches have given you.   A small thank you goes a long way! To all the coaches out there, take a day (or two) to yourselves ’cause you deserve it!  Time will be of the essence and the demands on your time will keep coming!  My mother has a saying I like to use:  “My life is not my own!!!!!”  Ain’t that the truth, especially for coaches! I wish each and every one of you a very Happy Holiday season and I look forward to seeing you in 2011!!! Cheers, Melissa