Thursday, August 9, 2012

Coaching: Capturing a Week at Camp

This past week was amazing. I am always in awe of the kids I get to work with.  Their positive energy and desire to become better speakers, performers, writers, and teammates is really inspiring.  To capture this week, I always write a letter to the parents to share just how special this week is to me and to their kids.  Coaching is time consuming, challenging, and often comes with some sacrifice, but I am grateful for how it has impacted my life and the life of the kids I've worked with these past four years.

Here is my letter to the parents to capture this past week:

To the parents and friends of the Speech Team
Every year, I am amazed by the enthusiastic and energetic faces that arrive at 9am on a Monday morning in late July or early August. Summers are precious to your students as it is a time to go on vacations with family, relax and be with friends.  This year, your students decided to spend this week at school, at Speech Camp.  The title of the camp often sends people into confusion.  I am often asked by my own family and friends what exactly Speech Camp is.  Trust me when I say that it is not what one would think it to be.

The Speech Team has been a significant part of my life for the past four years.  What has drawn me to this activity and what draws students is definitely not the name, which often incites fear into nearly every person on the planet. It is the relationships, the personal growth, and outlet to share our voices with others that makes this team truly special.  What I have come to learn from your students is that this team is so much more than a place to learn to speak well; it is a place to learn how to live well. 

This week, your students have been tasked with many challenges, have been asked to face their fears, and release any inhibitions they may have about performing and sharing who they are with others.  They have formed strong friendships, spent time in reflection, and have begun to find their passions.  From the variety of improv and leadership activities they have experienced, students have been reminded to embrace the power of their words.

At the end of last season, the Speech Team ranked 33rd in the state out of over 700 teams.  Watching our returning members pass on a legacy comprised of hard work, determination, and genuine desire to support their teammates has been inspiring and will lead this team into the 2012-2013 season with great success.  Having many new, talented members has been as asset to our experience this week. With 12 freshman and several other new faces joining our ranks, we are sure to continue to soar to new heights and accomplish greatness this year.

On behalf of the Speech Team coaching staff, thank you for sharing your students with us.  We are very excited for this season, and we cannot wait to watch each student find success.

Tweets by @Steph_SMac