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The power of NO.

This winter I was approached for a high school head coaching role in SF. I interviewed, accepted and was all set. However, I begun to work on the schedule and was shocked at the workload. Scheduling of practice when there are no games because it is 'soccer season' was surprising, but so too was the demand on the students, as well as me.

Now, this isn't a blog post about the demands on high school soccer. No, that splits opinions enough as it is, but this blog comes after some reflection, a vacation!, and some really deep conversations with my wife.

I coach two club teams after I leave my day job. I have to drive an hour +/- to get home. The season is a compact several months and you all know what goes into that, but the way I felt at the end of the season meant I knew the right decision would be to forgo the coaching opportunity with the school.

I was tired. 'only xxx games left of the season' was commonly heard as the demand on me as a coach was greater than ever, given the 'A' license workload, and my commitment to the players who deserve the best version of me as possible. However, so does my wife, my day job, and everyone else I interact with. That's why coaching the high school team was actually an easy 'no' after a conversation and some list making!

I have been guilty for so long of running head first into the next project / team / challenge / clinic / camp / travel and rarely taken stock of how I felt. Rarely stopped to think 'why' I feel like a man when I am 'so busy' and 'so tired'. Jess and I talked about the decision at hand and the pros / cons for my career and our life. Our life / my life / my health won, and won easily.

My team is in the flow of winter programming now in SF and, having travelled for some time over the holidays, I find myself returning full of energy and eagerness with my new license to deliver quality experience time after time with the players. In saying 'NO' I felt more in control that I ever have. Yes, I declined $ and I think that is often a driving factor (as it likely is for you), but I feel alive now and I don't think I could say the same right now if I were deep into high school soccer and club soccer.

Love yourself, and your family, first.


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