Our Stories: Reflections

Contributed Community

By MCHS tennis coach Stacy Manger

This is a disappointing time for coaches and athletes, but it is a time to reflect and grow. In times of uncertainty we find out who we really are. This past week has made me extremely grateful. I’ve reflected on and cherished each and every moment I’ve had with the MOCO Tennis Team. I know this time will make our players stronger and more resilient than ever. It’s a tough time, yes, but it is also a great time to have us reflect on who we are. This challenging time will reveal our true character and for the MOCO Tennis team, it already has.

This past week I’ve heard from some of my players through texts, emails and calls. I am amazed at how positive they are with these cancellations and uncertain outcomes. I’m amazed at their positive team spirit and attitude. I had one of our players reach out and check on me! I was so incredibly touched by that. It made my day and again showed the outstanding care and compassion of our athletes. 

If we strip away all the awards, trophies and winnings why do we play? Why do we coach? I’m a learner by nature. I love to learn. I love to learn about people. I learn from people everyday in my profession. I’ve always learned valuable lessons through sports. 

Now that our sports are on hiatus, we are challenged to grow and learn in different ways. I’ve been blessed to help grow and guide a tennis team. I’ve learned some valuable lessons in coaching and learned a lot from the players and teams I’ve coached. This 2020 Tennis Team has been like a family. 

Our players care about each other. 

They help each other and learn from one another. I’m grateful that I’ve been a part of that. There’s nothing better than seeing a group of young people work together and help each other to accomplish a common goal. 

Although the original goal is uncertain, they continue to lift each other up and care for one another like a family. They check on each other and reach out to one another through group texts and chats. Helping each other even now. That’s what it’s all about. Helping each other in times of uncertainty. To lean on each other and formulate relationships that they will always look back on and smile. I am so blessed to be a part of that. 

We may or may not be playing for a region championship, but we are finding contentment in this time of chaos. We are still looking out for one another – that is what teams do. In times of uncertainty we band together and formulate bonds that make us stronger. We put each other ahead of ourselves. How do we deal with the disappointment of a journey that may not end the way we want it to? By bonding together, caring for one another, remaining positive and “just rolling with it.”  

If we don’t finish the season are we not successful? How do we redefine success in the midst of unusual circumstances? 

The MOCO Tennis team are all champions in my book because of their character and values. I truly love our players. They are successful human beings because they treat each other with respect and grace. This journey is not about the trophy (although that is nice) it’s about the love, respect and compassion we have for one another in times of uncertainty. . 

Stacy Manger is a mental health counselor (LPC) at MCES, devoted coach and is passionate about the students and families she serves.

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