Do You Genuinely Enjoy Working/Playing with Kids?
I will be the very first one to say that I am most definitely never going to open a daycare or make babysitting my career. I’m exactly the very last person on this planet who has the kind of temperament for that kind of thing. Ask anyone. They’ll back me up.
That being said, there’s something about working with kids in certain situations that I really do enjoy. One of them is sports, and in particular, baseball (others being things like building Legos, models, bows and arrows…the kinds of stuff I did as a kid).
I love it. And I grew up in a neighborhood with a bunch of parents who would play whatever sport was in season with us all the time. So I was pretty lucky, and I think I took those memories with me into adulthood.
Remember, though, that kids are knuckleheads sometimes (and I use that word affectionately). I’ve seen the most laid back of coaches get flustered by kids in the dugout playing bottle toss with a plastic water bottle instead of watching the game. It happens. And usually everyone has a good laugh about it.
But if that kind of thing is going to drive you up a wall, you may want to think twice about signing up to volunteer as a coach.
That’s really all I have to say about this one as it should be pretty obvious.
Real Story “From the Trenches”
I remember one year we had a kid on our team who was super eager, super nice and just an all-around great kid. I did notice that he had some trouble focusing and concentrating. I kind of just chalked it up to kids being kids.
But very early on, his parents got in touch with me to let me know that he had ADHD. They wanted me to be aware. It was the kind of thing where you’d be going over something specific and he’d either let his attention wander or interrupt and ask a question about something totally unrelated.
After a few practices I reached out to another coach who had worked with him on a team the previous season and asked for any advice. He gave me some awesome advice. Here’s what he did: he gave him time to talk and tell whatever story he wanted to tell, then said, okay, that was your turn, now it’s my turn, okay? And then he’d continue on with whatever he was saying.
I started doing that and it worked really well.
Point is, I wouldn’t have done that if I didn’t genuinely like working with the kids…ALL the kids. So understand that sometimes you’ll have to work through some challenges. But if you love what you’re doing, it’s worth it.