Now that schools have officially gone online for the remainder of the school year, students and teachers are missing important moments that spring-time in school offers. There are the musicals, plays, outdoor classrooms, spring dances and prom, and end of year ceremonies. Classroom teachers are interacting with their students through apps and other distance learning venues. They are posting messages to their students letting them know how much they miss having them in their classrooms. Students are sending pictures to their teachers showing that they appreciate and miss them. Even school administrators are sending messages to the students and teachers letting them know that they miss seeing them in school every day and that they are sorry that seniors are missing prom, graduation, and the other end of year events. But there is a group that has not been talked about a lot-the coach.
No matter what your feelings are regarding athletics, there is nothing like sporting events. Athletic competition brings energy, school spirit, community involvement, and something to look forward to at the end of a school day. Sadly, high school and college spring athletic seasons have been canceled across the country. No baseball, no golf, no tennis, and no track! With the absence of spring sports, the school year just does not seem complete. Students will not hear the grounds crew mowing the fields while they are in class, indicating a meet or game of some kind that afternoon. They will not smell the freshly painted diamond or turned over dirt in the jumping pit. No crack of the bat, smack of the club, or bang of the starting pistol.
The saddest of all, coaches will not get to see those spring athletes this season. The spring coaches have a unique position that they get to see athletes off for the summer break. They get to recap a student’s year and hear their plans for the upcoming one. They also get to see senior athletes for the last time and be a part of their last memories at school; they get to say goodbye to seniors as they exit their athletic career at school.
Spring coaches are denied all that this year. As any coach does, they take pride in an athlete’s accomplishments and improvements each season. They like to see them grow and mature each season, eventually becoming a more mature athlete before they graduate. Fall and winter coaches got to have their seasons and their time with their teams. The spring coach, sadly, misses out this year.
So, to my spring athletes out there: I miss you very much. I miss Saturday invitationals and daily practices. I miss pushing through the difficult conditioning days and coasting through the rest days. I miss the unseasonably cold days and the unseasonably hot day days. I miss seeing prom pictures and hearing your summer plans. I miss being there for your personal bests and witnessing school records being set. I also miss consoling you in loss and using it as something to learn from. I miss cheering you on and hoping you do your best. Mostly, I miss seeing you evolve in front of me. It fills me with pride when you reach your goals. Unfortunately, I will have to wait a whole year to see you again; so, until then spring-athlete, stay well and stay healthy.