Last week, I started my new coaching job at North Tahoe High School. It went great.
I wasn’t quite sure what to expect and admittedly slightly nervous on the first day, stepping into a role that has long been occupied by the same all-stars, Elyah Gordon and Randolph Green. What would the kids think of me? Would they welcome me as their new head coach, or be opposed to the change? What would be the first thing I said?
But, luckily for me, both Randolph and Elyah are still around and helping out a TON, which has really helped to ease my transition in as head coach, and also helped make it easier on the team as well. Randolph even showed up the first day — greeted by enthusiastic hugs and hellos from all the kids — to provide an introduction and be a crutch for me to lean on that first day of practice. I was glad he was there.
Since that first day, which ended up being just fine — I committed no major coaching faux pas that I know of! — things have only gotten better. I am already getting to know the athletes pretty well on an individual basis, and learning about their skiing abilities and goals. They are a unique group, each with their own range of experience and very different personalities. It has been a lot of fun getting to know them!
There have been some adjustments, certainly, both for me and for them. I don’t know that they are particularly in favor of my hard-nosed attitude about drills, drills, drills… BUT, they will thank me later. This I know for sure. I mean, you have to learn how to ski before you can actually go ski, right?! I really think they’ve learned a lot already, and it’s showing. I like that! On the other hand, they’ve taught me lots too: the value of “adventure days” and what an adventure day entails; the fact that there is HOT CHOCOLATE in the huts at Tahoe XC (did you know this?! If not, you better get on it!!); the importance of a good apres-practice group sing and dance sess; just how hysterical teenagers really are this days!! … and the list will only continue to grow.
I think things are off to a great start, and personally, I am just feeling really good about it. I am anxious to see where the rest of the season takes us, and I hope I can continue to be a good guide along the way.