Darkness and Light

We had full attendance on Tuesday. It was the first time this had happened all season. I was unsure about how it was going to go. Usually with Girls in the Game, the more girls the better; the more fun girls will have during activities. However, that was not the case that day. It seemed like the girls were feeding off each other’s negative energy and no matter how hard Coach Ashley and I tried we could not rally the girls and get them working together as a unit. No matter the activity, there were always a few girls that did not want to participate. The toughest part was that it was not the same girls every time. It kept rotating. It seemed as if nothing was working. We struggled through that first hour of Health and Leadership. One coach would lead the activity and the other would try to re-engage the girls refusing to participate, while at the same time trying to not give attention to this behavior.

It was time to move to the gym. Ever since a couple weeks ago when we were informed that we were unable to use the gym a half hour before programming, I’ve made it a point to confirm with the site contact that the gym is available. This Tuesday the gym had been confirmed and we were all set to go.  After the difficult time in the classroom, I was hoping that they were ready to play. We entered the gym and I walked over to the switch board to turn on the lights and nothing. They wouldn’t turn on. I went to the office to ask them about the lights and they didn’t know. We asked the security guard and the PE teacher. They did not know.

At that point I felt defeated. I thought about how the darkness in the gym was exactly what the day had felt like; chaos and obscurity. But we had to move on; we had to use the light we had in creative ways to illuminate that room so the girls could play. Luckily the gym had windows and we removed the curtains and opened the doors so that we could use natural light for as long as possible. We also were able to turn on the stage lights and that helped to make the gym safe enough to play in. During the short game of floor hockey, most girls participated and I think despite a lot of complaining, they had fun.

The darkness of the gym, our inadequate and temporary light sources seemed to parallel too closely to the coaching experience at Mays thus far. I feel like I have been trying to lead the girls holding a small candle to the night sky, and expecting them to be able to see where I was going. Because of report card pick-up we have this next Tuesday off. I have a lot of thinking to do and a lot of preparing. A lot of questions are running through my mind. The most prominent being, how can I enable the girls to bring their own light to programming and add it to mine so that together we can eliminate the darkness.

-Coach Miranda

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