Past, Present and Future

by

By: Megan Moore
Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach

They say it takes at least two years as a college coach to decide if it’s the career you’re destined to tackle. They say your second year at a given institution reveals the parts you love, and hate, about the job.  I say that it’s the former of that last statement that makes all the difference.

I was a non-believer. I was nearly convinced that coaching was only in my immediate future, that future being a year’s length, when I arrived at W&L as the Assistant Women’s Lacrosse Coach last August. I was having a hard time coping with hanging up my English degree instead of my stick post-college and my love of the game had been glazed over by a tough first year out as a part-time assistant. It was logic more than love that led me to Lexington.

Assistant Women's Lacrosse Coach Megan Moore is another first-year blogger for the Sidelines Blog.

Last fall term was a haziness of reorganizing my cube, trying to remember the difference between an 11 and a 12 fund and agonizing over teaching racquetball to unenthused 18-22 year olds. And that was just on campus. There was also the two hours a day spent on Alumni Field learning how to stand on my own two feet as an assistant coach. It’s surprising how intimidating a large group of young women can be, especially some of the brightest and most driven in the country.

Fall Ball came and went and somewhere in between remembering their nicknames and hoping they didn’t all leave practice thinking “what the hell was Megan talking about,” our team made me start to remember exactly what I loved about lacrosse. The competitive fight for loose balls, the excitement of the perfect fast-break, the foundation for working towards something greater than ourselves. I began to realize how envious I was of our players for still having at least a season left to achieve that something and tried to instill in them how not to take it for granted.

January 25th snuck up as all pre-seasons do and my nervousness from the fall still lingered. I had felt good about Fall Ball but that had been just a trial run compared to the season ahead. This was the real deal. Brooke had graciously given me the reigns on our attack and I worried about finding our offense’s rhythm and how I’d harmonize with it.  I know defense wins championships, but you’ve got to score goals to win games. I thought about the upcoming season in my sleep and we hadn’t even gotten through the snow-capped month of February yet. Some were nightmares, others were strange dreams about blizzards and 6AM practices or busses breaking down on the side of 81 (wait…).  Regardless, I grasped that all this anxiety actually meant something.

Once games started and we proved that we could, in fact, score goals, I started to feel more at ease. With the slowing down of the anxiety came the speeding up of each passing practice and game. Our team was well on its way to achieving the goals they set out for themselves without even fully realizing it. Watching the final seconds of the ODAC Championship tick away on Watt Field was surreal. Had we actually done the thing we spent eight whole months talking about doing?  Maybe I wouldn’t be spending just one year here after all…

I took a month’s hiatus from Lexington and spent August on family vacation and at home in Maryland. Once August 28th hit I found myself throwing everything in my car, eager to get back to W&L. Since moving down here I’d always been sad to leave home on return trips; now I couldn’t wait to head south. I was excited for the return of our team to campus, to meet the new faces of the athletic department and to see the once unfamiliar ones that now felt like family. Yes, it’s as cheesy as it sounds. And I hate cheesiness.

I still agonize over racquetball and can’t always get the 11 and the 12 funds straight, but despite those misgivings I feel incredibly at home on this campus. I’m afraid I’d get scolded by them if I repeated it every time, so whether silently or out loud, I will list being a part of this place in the thankful circles that our team does before games. I’ve caught myself more than a few times telling the new additions to our department just how awesome a place W&L is to work. I’m not one to say things I don’t mean.

The most apparent thing I’ve learned in this past year is just how quickly a year passes. I look forward to the upcoming season but am happy to be exactly where we are in Fall Ball right now. I look back on the sillyness of some of my worries last year, but know full well that no season comes without its fair share of anxiety. I welcome that anxiety because it’s a product of the thing we love about what we do.

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