Friday, October 3, 2008

My 'Dream' Team

I am the coach of the Moses Lake Molahiettes. (Mo stands for Moses, La stands for Lake, Hi stands for High School ect.). This year I have a dream team. I have 27 of the most beautiful, smart, talented girls ANY coach could ask for. This is my fourth year as coach. The Molahiettes have always been good since I can remember. My daughter Danielle made the team with her friends as a freshman and enjoyed the year. Her first 2 years the team had 2 coaches and she asked me to apply for the job since it was going to be open again her 3rd year. She had been voted Lieutenant and I thought it might be something fun to try and do together....(I didn't get the job.) The girls had two coaches that year and Danielle asked again if I would apply for the was a difficult decision for me. Trying and failing at something once is slightly embarassing but failing twice at the same thing....seemed humilating. THANK HEAVENS! I got the job. ( I think my husband Reid had a slightly different reaction....)

There have been good and bad times. The first year was the most difficult. People don't adapt to change well, and every little change was a big deal. I lost 15 pounds,(oh if only...) I couldn't sleep, but we grew as a team, we went out on a limb and entered two categories that Moses Lake has never competed in and took 3 routines instead of 1. With two great captains we won 2 State Championships and came in 2nd in a third category, losing by .5 points. The next year was a little easier and the team began to adapt to the changes. We won two more State Championships in Military and Pom. Last year was another fun but challenging year and we passed up State for Nationals because I had committed to going every other year when I took the job. I carefully selected two categories I thought we would do well in and a category I wanted us to grow in. Military is our strength and I wasn't surprised when they placed us in the Championship category. Unfortunately it wasn't our day, and with a few mistakes our strength became our weakness and the girls took home 2nd instead of 1st. Kick we placed in the open category, which was a surpise. The kick number was difficult and HARD, but I'll match my girls kicks against any teams kicks in the nation. The girls grew tired of practicing and it was a challenge to get the number to improve. Injuries began to happen, but in the end the girl's won the Open Kick Category at Nationals beating the next closest team by a score of about 15 points and beating all the scores in the Championship Category as well. Hip Hop was the category I picked that I knew we were weak in and I hoped to make some improvement. We had competed in the category before and placed 12th. There is no division between open and championship at Nationals and there was 21 teams in the category last year. We worked hard on the number all year and it went through many drafts and several costume changes. In the end, the girls came out and hit it perfect and ended up bringing home a Hip Hop National Championship. Not sure that feeling can ever be duplicated.

Coaching is rewarding and hard. Teenage girls have attitudes and are extremely emotional. They roll their eyes at you, they get their feelings hurt, and they never stop talking. They say hurtful things and assume you will never hear. As a coach you run a fine line between trying to be their friend, their mentor, their leader yet keeping enough distance so they fear you enough to work hard. Parents love you one minute and hate you the next. They turn on you in a blink of an eye. I have been accused of being prejudice, picking favorites, stupidity and lack of commitment. One minute I know everything and the next I know nothing. I have been critized and talked about and ignored. But I don't do it for the parents and my skin has become thick. I do it for the girls. I love the look I see in their eyes when we finish a number and the crowd cheers. I love watching their faces at the end of competition waiting to see if they will be rewarded for a job well done. I love presenting a challenge only for them to master much more than I could have ever expected. I hope I am building in them a desire to work hard and give their best and all to something they love. I hope I am giving these girls something to be a part of, to be proud of, to work for. I know I am proud of them. I'm proud of each girl. For the girl that stands on the front row in the center and the girl on the back row, left corner. Everyone is just as important to me and the number would not be the same without them. These girls work hard and give me their very best, day after day, week after week, practice after practice. I am so happy to be coaching my "DREAM TEAM".


Neighbor Jane Payne said...

Oh gee, I've lived here ten years and did not know that was what Molahiettes stood for...I'm telling you, you can learn anything from blogging.

I can't wait to see your team perform. I've heard so much good about this year and have been disappointed I've missed every performance so far. I'm glad you've got a great year ahead of you.

Peggy Dee said...

And now blogging has been added to your long list of accomplishments! I am sure you will outdo me in that arena too. I need to start hanging around with less capable people so that I can feel good about myself! Way to go - awesome blog!!!


I LOVE IT! I was in the first MOLAHIETTES! I didn't vote for that name. You do incredible work with those young women. I hope you are there for Nicole! You always have been so good to her & for that I thank you! Moses Lake is lucky to have you! :)

Tiffany Fackrell said...

I found your blog from cass's. I cried when i read this blog. I am pathetic, well and it is almost midnight, i think I am tired. I love the Molahiettes! I was singing the song in my head! Let's be honest that is really the only reason I go to the high school games still!!! At least I have brothers and brother in laws still playing so I have a way in, but I just pay attention at half time!! They are great and you are doing a great job!!

Susan said...

you accomplish all that you want to for the girls, Lori! They, and the whole high school, is blessed to have you as the coach.