I had an opportunity recently to watch my dad do one of his favorite things—coach youth girls’ softball. He’s 62 years old, mostly retired, but is jumping back on that ball diamond to raise another generation of softball players. Almost two decades ago he hung up his youth coaching hat after 15 years of coaching two youth girls’ softball teams.

He, like so many other youth coaches, volunteered his time year after year to not only a game he came to love, but to teams and kids he came to love. More often than not, youth coaches dedicate their time and energy to our kids and the youth programs that benefit them without seeing a dime for all their effort and hard work.

While as parents we get to use that extra hour (or sometimes four or more a week) of sports practice to run errands, read, give our brains a break, play on our phones, or get work done, those that volunteer to coach our kids’ teams are typically showing up to the field early after a long day of work to run drills and practice plays to get our kids ready for the next big game.

RELATED: All Sports Parents Should Read This Patrick Mahomes Letter With Their Kids

While we get to go home and not worry about what’s next until game day or practice, coaches are spending their evenings looking up plays and drills, or doing team bookkeeping and registering for leagues and tournaments.

They’re thinking of how to help our kids get over their recent struggles with the game, and new ways to engage them in the game.

Youth coaches often know how to motivate our kids in a way we may not. They have fine-tuned the craft of getting our kids to listen and think through things to strategize how to be their best.

They teach our kids to not back down, fight for what they want, and quit the whining and just get the job done.

They teach our kids how to accept their losses or failures gracefully and move on from them.

They show our kids that mistakes and losses aren’t the end—they’re just lessons for better success the next time.

RELATED: Valuable Life Lessons Are Found in Sports Stories

Just as my dad wasn’t a coach to only me and my sisters, youth coaches aren’t just their own kids’ coach, but everyone’s coach. Our kids will encounter youth coaches that will teach them life lessons they won’t ever forget.

Their youth coaches will be a treasure of their childhoods.

Youth coaches throw countless hours year after year into coaching youth sports—all free of charge and simply for the love of the game and for the love of our kids.

Sometimes, as in the case of my dad, their greatest callings in life aren’t the ones they get paid for.

So to all those unpaid dedicated youth coaches: thank you for the unlimited time you have invested in our kids and their love of the game.

So God Made a Mother book by Leslie Means

If you liked this, you'll love our book, SO GOD MADE A MOTHER available now!

Order Now

Check out our new Keepsake Companion Journal that pairs with our So God Made a Mother book!

Order Now
So God Made a Mother's Story Keepsake Journal

Angela Williams Glenn

Angela Williams Glenn writes about the struggles and joys of motherhood. Her book Moms, Monsters, Media, and Margaritas examines the expectations verse the realities of motherhood in our modern day digital era and her book Letters to a Daughter is an interactive journal for mothers to their daughters. She’s also been published with Chicken Soup for the Soul, TAAVI Village, Bored Teachers, and Filter Free Parents. You can find her humorous and uplifting stories on Facebook page.

In Defense of Keeping Score

In: Kids, Sports
a boy at bat in a baseball game

This may be an unpopular opinion. But, it’s still mine. We hear a lot on social media about team sports. Especially baseball. About how parents are over-the-top, and too competitive, and are living vicariously through their children. We all know someone a little like that, I get it. We hear a lot about how we are too hard on kids these days and how everyone should just lighten up and let everybody win. But, have you ever asked a nine-year-old? A kid who has been in the game since he was three? A kid with Braves pennants all over his...

Keep Reading

I Want My Kids in Sports, Even If It Means Less Time for School

In: Motherhood, Sports, Teen, Tween
Youth volleyball team smiling

As my kids grow older I see the academic pressure mounting. Instead of going to school to learn and stretch their curiosity, it’s become a world of competition. The focus has shifted to the final outcome and not the process. The joy of learning is missing. The expectations are rising and children are either discouraged or pushing themselves to the brink of burnout just to get that A. Piles of due dates and homework steal their free time each night. But what about growing outside of the academic world? Being book-smart is not the only thing kids need. Is school...

Keep Reading

The Best Youth Sports Coaches Hold Our Kids Accountable

In: Kids, Sports

I’ll never forget it. I was a high school freshman and we were in the middle of a heated basketball game with one of our rivals. I was on the floor when I heard my coach yelling for me, “Mandy! Mandy!” I heard him. But I was blatantly ignoring him. On the third, “Mandy!” I turned away from the court to the bench and yelled “WHAT?!!?” My hands were in the air to signal I was annoyed. This coach was not one to mess with. He knew basketball like the back of his hand and he DID NOT DEAL with...

Keep Reading

My Daughter Quit Youth Sports: 5 Things I Wish I’d Done Differently

In: Motherhood, Sports
picture of asia and her daughter piper

My daughter quit sports, and this is what youth sports parents need to know. This is my oldest daughter Piper, and yes, I got her permission to write this. She’s a water polo player. Well—she used to be. She dreamed of playing for the Olympic team, went to water polo summer camps, made the Olympic Development team, and spent a week at the Olympic training camp in Colorado; she even filmed a TV show with Cam Newton about her dream of playing in the Olympics. She said she wanted to play in college. She chose her high school based on her...

Keep Reading

Being the Mother of an Athlete Means Learning to Let Go

In: Motherhood, Sports
mom watching sports game

This is my post. Has been for years. I’ve held this spot sacred, watching you play for so long. Yet as you grow older, I find myself mourning the day I‘ll finally have to give it up. I’ve worn a path here, pacing back and forth with worry. I’ve packed the earth here, jumping up and down with excitement. I’ve found friends here, locking arms so tight that they’ve become bonded like family. I’ve made room in my heart for teammates here, cheering as if they were my own children. I’ve learned to respect, to love, and to offer grace here,...

Keep Reading

Hey Mama Signing Your Boy Up For Little League, You’re About to Become a Baseball Mom

In: Motherhood, Sports
youth baseball player standing at the fence

Hey mama, I see you’re signing your boy up for Little League, so I feel I should warn you . . . You’re signing up for more than endless sun-beaten hours, sitting on rickety old bleachers at a dust-swept ball field. You’re also signing up for awkward first encounters with new parents. For a backseat full of competitively rowdy (and stinky) boys. RELATED: I Hope You Love Youth Sports As Much As I Did For a pretty penny in shiny new equipment. And for a lifetime supply of OxiClean with a membership to the “Where did you leave your jersey?”...

Keep Reading

Youth Sports Are Ordinary, Which is Why They’ll Always Be Special To Me

In: Living, Sports
girl and father walking to sports

It’s a normal thing, I guess. I’m sure millions of kids around the world play youth sports. Hundreds play in our town alone. Moms and dads pay the fees and rearrange their lives to shuttle their little people around town. They juggle late bedtimes and drive-thru dinners in the name of letting their kids be on a team. Then they watch as their children learn what it feels like to push past their comfort zones. Dads haul chairs to the sidelines while moms tie shoes. Tears are dried, pep talks are given, and attitudes are checked. Volunteer coaches wrangle squirrelly...

Keep Reading

8 Classic Outdoor Games to Take You Back to Your Childhood

In: Fatherhood, Sports

Whew. We’ve made it through the time change (can we just get rid of Daylight Saving Time already?) and spring is officially on its way, which means two things for dads: March Madness is in full swing, and it’s still light enough at the end of the day to get outside and run off some energy with the kids after work. Honestly, we could all use the fresh air and endorphins after a long, cold winter. And sure, you can always kick a ball around together, or shoot some hoops, or even try one of these great ideas for a...

Keep Reading

Here’s to the Unsung Heroes of the Super Bowl

In: Sports

It’s not always about the big stars wearing the jerseys. Sometimes it’s a story about a man from a city in the Rust Belt about to turn 40. A man, who at one point, wondered if he’d make it to 26. My twin brother. We grew up in Saginaw, Michigan with humble parents who, above all else, wanted us to be happy. But at age 25, my twin discovered he had cancer ravaging inside of him. RELATED: We Should All Try to Live Like We Have Cancer He had to fight. And fight, he did. After that victory, that’s where...

Keep Reading

Cheetos Delivers With Super Bowl Commercial That Every Man Can Relate To

In: Sports

“Just tell him it wasn’t you.” That’s the advice Grammy-winning singer Shaggy gives actress Mila Kunis when she’s confronted by husband Ashton Kutcher for stealing his snack in a 2021 Super Bowl ad that every man on the planet can relate to. The Jamaican reggae icon teamed up with the celebrity couple (who are married in real life!) to reprise the singer’s popular single from 2000, “It Wasn’t Me” . . . but with a cheesy twist. Literally. The catchy commercial follows the threesome as they remix Shaggy’s megahit and adapt the lyrics to show Kunis sneaking around the house...

Keep Reading