A few years back I was working for a youth soccer company. I was in charge of the Pacific Northwest Region of the company, which covered Washington and Oregon. When I eventually left I had grown the business to contract with over 60 cities and over 10,000 participants. It was a lot of work, but I’m really proud of the job I did. I really enjoyed working for that company, and the lessons and skills learned have helped serve me well in my endeavors since. One of the things I learned was the lasting impact teaching had on me personally, and the kids I taught.
Teaching is rarely a glamourous job, but I’m specifically talking about teaching youth sports. It may sound fun, and don’t get me wrong it is, but in reality there’s more to it. Whether you know it or not, if you’ve chosen to step out and teach you’re making an impact. Those impacts can be positive or negative, and it’s important to know your role in the process.
When I first found Floorball I immediately saw its potential as a sport, and in teaching youth to play. There is a market to be had that I see using Floorball to break into. The youth sports instructional scene is very crowded area, but there’s always room for more. As I began to think about how I would approach this process I kept coming back to my soccer days. In my mind it was a perfect fit, but at the time I fought it because I needed a break from teaching. Teaching is a demanding component on your time and energy, and I wanted to make sure that I could bring both effectively. I reached out to my old client in my town and we put a youth floorball program together.
It’s been 3 years since I started teaching floorball classes regularly. It was a challenge at first to find a date/time that would work within my current job and life schedule. I chose a day that was fairly light for me, and something I could make sure I could be consistent on. I’m a big proponent of consistency. I wanted parents to know that it would be at the same day, time, and location every session so they could start to plan on it. It’s been successful, and I’m really proud of it. I make some money off of it, and while it’s not huge, it has allowed me to continue to grow the game the way I wanted to. It hasn’t always been easy or fun. There have been challenges along the way, but in the end I know it’s worth it.
That reminder of it being worth it has come in different forms. From parents talking to me about how joining Floorball has helped their kid overcome fear, anxiety, or just found a passion in something. Those are the things that mean the most, and are the reason why I do what I do.
There are kids out there not being reached in the current sports scene for any number of reasons. By creating opportunities to reach them I’m hoping they’ll find themselves. Every week is a new week, and the kids I teach are a week older. I never know what child I’m getting on that day, but in the end having a chance to make an impact is enough for me to keep pushing forward. What’s fun is that the longer you teach the more kids you get to see, and seeing kids grow and mature is fun. I’m excited to see where these kids go, and hopefully I’ll get to see them mature into adults and positive role models. I encourage anyone reading this to take a chance on themselves and the kids around them and get involved in teaching. If it happens to be Floorball great. If not, that’s ok too. Good luck on your journey, and if I can help along the way I’m happy to do so.