Wednesday, February 26, 2014

When You Are Looking for American Heroes- Don't Forget the Coaches!!

Those of you who know me know how proud I am of my grand daughter Avery's accomplishments as a runner. At age 10, she is now one of the top middle distance runners her age in the nation, and loves the feeling of confidence this gives her as well as all the great new friends she has made in her track team- the Prospect Park Youth Running Club.

But none of this would have been possible without the four volunteer coaches- all public school teachers and administrators- who run the PPYRC! Not only do they spend countless hours a week running practices and taking their team to meets, they have time to speak on the phone to parents about issues with their children's runnig- whether it is the shin sprints or asthma attacks they get, or the process they should go through in trying to find a high school with a good running program

None of the things that Avery achieved would have been possible if these coaches hadn't auditioned her, trained her, put her in the right events, and given her love and encouragement. We have a lot of great athletes in our family, but none of them ran track. It is the coaches in PPYRC who discovered and nurtured Avery's great gift.

And they are not alone. All over the country, volunteer coaches in basketball, football, soccer, lacrosse, and swimming are doing for other young people what PPYRC coaches have done for Avery- finding and nurturing a talent that gives them confidence and a sense of inner well-being.

Many of these wonderful people are public school teachers and administrators. They are true American heroes, deserving of recognition and respect.