If you see something, say something

On Sunday I sat in the bleachers right behind the player’s bench at Asher’s soccer game.

I spent much of the game observing his coach as he interacted with the boys. This was not Asher’s real coach, but rather a sub, or fill in coach.

It’s a long story, but the real coach for Asher’s new team abruptly left about 3 weeks into the season. (Some kind of coach vs. club vs. parents drama that I was not a part of…. I think he was actually let go.)

The guy filling in on Sunday used to coach Ethan’s old team, so we know him pretty well. He’s also the Director of Coaching for the soccer club currently.

He has a separate fulltime job, 2 kids (both active in sports), a wife (who is a fulltime veterinarian), a house, and he holds this BIG side job for the soccer club. Oh, and he actively coaches his daughter’s team. I presume he also eats and sleeps and does yard work and loads the dishwasher and the like, too.

So when we received the message that he would be personally covering several of Asher’s games this month, I was thinking, “Wow, poor guy. He already has a LOT on his plate. I don’t think I’d want to spend my Sunday afternoon coaching yet another team, on top of everything else!” I’ve run into him a couple times, and he has mentioned that he’s a little overwhelmed with this director role.

As I watched him on the sidelines, I kept thinking how blown away I am by this guy.

First, he’s just a super nice guy. The kids love him. He is amazing with them. Second, even from a distance, you could just tell he was giving 100% to those boys- boys who are not his own kids, and not even “his” team. They are just some random kids that he is basically guest coaching for.

The way he gathered the team in for a pep talk at half time…. the way he made direct contact with every single player as they stepped off the field, to give a few pointers or praise, plus a high five or an encouraging clap on the shoulder (even the ones who are honestly not very good at all!!)….

He treated them all exactly the same: full coaching effort for every player, no exceptions. I was seriously impressed. And pretty touched by it all! What a class act individual. You could just tell he really cared.

When we got home, I kept thinking about it all. And I thought, You know what? I should TELL HIM this. He might not even realize that we notice, and we appreciate him.

I pulled out my phone and sent him this text:

Coach _____, I just have to say- you are a saint. Thank you for stepping in and coaching these boys. You have so much on your plate and this team wasn’t part of the deal originally. You have such a gift relating to and coaching the boys, and your patience is so impressive. It’s so apparent how much you care about them, and they aren’t even “yours”! The list just goes on and on. Please tell (your wife) a big thanks for sharing you with all of us, too! You are so appreciated!”

A little while later he wrote back and said,

Thank you for the kind words, Kaelyn. Not gonna lie…. I needed that. Much appreciated.”

It took me 30 seconds to write that text. But afterwards, I felt really good about not just keeping those thoughts to myself, and maybe it ended up lifting up his weary spirits during a busy season of life for him.

The moral of the story is: If you see something, say something*. 😊

*I know this is the anti-terrorist attack/ TSA motto! lol! The original meaning of the phrase is definitely important, too. But it’s equally important to say something when we see something GOOD happening, not just some kind of potential threat or warning sign.

Quote of the Day:

Gratitude helps us to see what is there instead of what isn’t. – Annette Bridges

Daily Gratitude:

I am grateful for Asher’s swim practice being moved from an outdoor pool to an indoor pool tonight! Brrr!! High of only 54 today.

14 thoughts on “If you see something, say something”

  1. Ahh, I almost got a little teary-eyed reading this. What a great, generous person. Some people are just meant to be coaches and really thrive in that role and make a difference. I hear more about the people who aren’t good in that role. There can be soooo much drama around sports. My good friend used to have a big role w/ the Mn youth soccer association when she graduated from college. She got so many batsh*t crazy calls from parents about coaches and how much their kids were playing etc. She could get calls after 10pm and people would be screaming. It was just insane and a pretty awful job, I think. But this is a good reminder to tell people they are appreciated and are doing a good job. I always feel so good when I get positive feedback so try to pay that forward.


  2. What an great story; he sounds like an amazing guy and you’re SO right – saying something can make such a difference! I try to do this with compliments over both big and small stuff. Too often I’ll *think* something kind or complimentary in my head and then never vocalize it. Why?!

    I also know how much I grow and thrive in an environment of appreciation, too. And it sounds like he really, really needed this encouragement. So gold star to you for speaking up 🙂


    1. Exactly- I often think things, but sometimes I worry that people will either think I’m like, a crazy person or sort of “over the top” trying to compliment people, or something like that. But I’d only do this if I really, honestly felt appreciative of someone- I’d never just make it up! I’ve had the same thought when I’ve noticed someone either looks really nice, or has on something I really love, etc… I sometimes feel funny telling a stranger I love something about their outfit or whatever, but I think I’d be happy to hear it, on the flip side.


  3. For sure! I try to pass on compliments whenever I can – to the person directly and to any higher ups if it might be helpful for their boss to know. It was wonderful of you to take the time to make sure this generous man knows he is appreciated!


  4. I couldn’t love this more if I tried, Kae! That was so, so kind of you to send him this message. It’s so, so important to share kind words with people around us who really try to step up to the plate and make this world a better place. And you’re right – it literally often just takes us 30 seconds to do so. One of my goals last year was to compliment people more often (it’s not something that comes naturally to Germans – we’re a bit more reserved!) but with practice it’s become a really good habit and it can really lift someone’s spirits!!


    1. I do think it gets easier with practice! I used to feel really uncomfortable, but now it seems a lot more natural. Maybe it’s age, maybe it’s just my continued focus on gratitude finally paying off?! Haha. 😉


  5. so true! I often feel like we could show more of our appreciation to some people, it serves us well to for doing it and for them to receive it. it requires mindfulness of appreciating people. last time I did something like that was to get some sweets to the lady who let me talk to the girls while I was away. she was surprised to receive it and so happy for knowing that someone appreciated her work.


  6. Oh this is so inspiring! I’ve been meaning to write my daughter’s swim team coach from this summer about how much much my daughter loved swim team and what a great coach he was… Our team is the worst team in the league (not exaggerating we are second to last in our Division and we are also in the bottom division of our County – that’s second last out of over 75 teams) but even still he inspired the kids to always work on improving and to be good teammates. And just this week I was thinking, it’s two months since the end of our swim season, it seems silly to write now. You’ve inspired me to send him a note anyway. I think too often, I underestimate how much someone might appreciate hearing something positive and I err on the side of not saying anything. In truth, there is no harm in saying something! My ten year old is the queen of this – she throws compliments at complete strangers without reservation. I used to be slightly embarrassed about it, but now it’s one of the things I love the most about her.


  7. Well done Kae! (See what I did there? Haha) he sounds like such a nice guy. I remind myself to do this more too, especially at work as a manager I remind myself to dole out the compliments because I notice that it really makes someone’s day to appreciate them. Even if I attend a great meeting, I make a point at the end to tell the organizer that it was such a well-organized and productive meeting. I won’t lie, it makes me feel good too.


  8. I admit, I thought this was going to be a story about how awful the coach was. What a lovely surprise to read about such an amazing person, AND your reaching out to him to recognize that. I’m sure it meant SO much in this insane season for him and his family. I try to do the same – but not in the moment like you did. Good on you. 🙂


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s