I don't think I've made it any secret, how much I love Crew, our team and the sport in general. I've been going to Winter Conditioning everyday and helping out wherever I can. Coach Cox has been gracious enough to include me and let me help wherever they need me. This is the first year we have not been allowed to pay our winter coaches so some of our younger coaches haven't been able to come and help out. Which has been good for me, because I've gotten to fill in the empty spots and I've learned so much. I just love being with the kids and helping them. Thank goodness Zack seems to be okay with the whole thing, plus I try to stay as far away form him as I can, unless he engages first.
I've been imagining in my dream life some way for me to become an official coach, instead of just "Zack's mom, who hangs around all the time!" Something like a land coach, or a conditioning coach anything along those lines. I'm already one of the only people who will run with Mike and the kids or Erg with them. None of the other coaches do that. I get so invested with the kids and how they are doing, that I can't imagine not seeing them everyday and watching their progress. I have even considered going through Personal Fitness Trainer certification to make myself more marketable.
It's been challenging to find coaches for the team this year. As you can imagine there aren't many people, especially the younger coaches, who have jobs that will allow them to be at practice everyday from 4-6pm. Which leads me to the thrilling, terrifying, exciting, craaaazzy adventure that is ahead of me. Last week Coach Cox called me… he and Coach Meehan have asked me to come on and join the coaching staff!!!! I'm sooo excited, and terrified. I know, I know… the one small catch… I don't know how to row! :o) What they need most immediately is another person to drive a safety launch along side them so that in cold weather they can take more boats out. Each coach is allowed to take out 2 boats, at a certain temp, but if I'm there - they can take out 3. So, I will drive along, learn and start making the jump to coaching. They have promised they won't put me in a position that would make me or anyone else uncomfortable. This year I will be a "coach in training." I've repeatedly given Mike the opportunity to change his mind, but he doesn't seem to want to do that. Apparently this is a pretty common practice among teams. When coaching needs get critical, they find a parent or other person who is willing and able to help out and then train them. There is even a US Rowing Level 1 Coaching Course for people with little or no rowing experience, like parents, teachers or personal trainers. If they have an actual course for that, then it must happen pretty regularly. I'm waiting for the schedule to come out, so that I can go to that. I've also done the Occoquan Coaches Safety meeting, CPR and First aid certification, Boat Safety certification and I still have a couple more boxes to check off. I also plan to try rowing with the adult program this summer and fall, so that I will at least have some idea of what I'm doing. Whatever I can do, I will do. The most important thing I need to do right now is learn how to drive a launch boat. Fortunately, this will be John's responsibility since he is the Boat Driver Trainer! If anyone can teach me to drive a launch boat, it's John! I just need the freaking weather to warm up so the ice melts and we can get the boat out on the water!!
This is something I've very excited about and I want to make sure that I do the best job that I possible can. I don't want to let anyone down, not Mike and John who are putting their trust in me, not the kids and certainly not the team or the program.
Unfortunately, not everyone was as supportive as I had hoped when Mike made the announcement, but I'm not going to let that get me down or derail me. The people whose opinions I truly value, Mike and John, my John, the other coaches, close friends all seem very supportive. The rest I'm going to just try and ignore and prove wrong but doing a great job!