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To the coach I call Dad, a thank you from a coach's kid

You can cruise the internet and find plenty of pieces on blogs, websites and social media talking about what it means to be a coach's family. Many of them talk about the things that kids have to give up if their dad coaches, for example dad not being there to sit down for dinner or read bedtime stories. Others extrapolate on the ups and downs of being a coach's wife. So, instead, on behalf of all coaches' kids, I wanted to thank our favorite coach, Dad.

What I realized as I started to grow up was the invaluable lessons I learned from being around my dad's teams and coaches. It's time to thank him.

As a little girl, I not only attended, but PARTICIPATED in football camp. It wasn't really an option and I didn't mind. The hair went into pig tails and my feet went into my cleats. That taught me at a young age that I can do anything the boys can do, as long as I had good form.

Often I think that coach's kids are the luckiest kids in the world. Every day we are surrounded by a group of "big brothers", coaches that double as uncles and coaches' families that feel like aunts and cousins. That taught me the value of family, blood related or not.

Sure, I learned about hard work from watching dad put in SO many hours but more than that I learned how to be good to others. I watched my dad reach kids that many people in the school had given up on. I watched my dad nurture and encourage kids whose home lives were utterly in shambles. From that I learned compassion and how to care for others.

After away games, my dad would let me ride the bus with the team back to the school. The bus was filled with singing and laughing on nights ending in a win, and was dead silent on losing nights. That taught me to celebrate the wins in life and push through the losses.

To be honest, any coach's kid will tell you the same thing, they can't imagine growing up without football.

So maybe dad isn't home for dinner time, but I would argue that the time spent together even if its on a field or a bus ride home is 10 times more special. My best memories from childhood smell like sweat and grass and sound like whistles blowing and pads colliding...and I am SO thankful for that.

So to my favorite coach, the one I call Dad, THANK YOU.

Love, your biggest fan.