“When you give someone your time, you are giving them a portion of your life that you’ll never get back. Your time is your life. That is why the greatest gift you can give someone is your time.” – Rick Warren
This quote came to my mind Tuesday night when I drove up north to the city of Girne where 5 of our girls who play on the Lapta team had a game with their school team. I entered the gym and there was Zalihe, the coach of our Lapta girls team. She does not coach at the girls’ local high school but she wanted to be there to support her young players. When the girls ran out onto the court to warm-up you could see how they lit up when they looked towards the stands and saw Zalihe there to support them. When their team walked over to the bench they ran right over to their coach to give her a high five.
Sometimes as coaches we don’t realize how much little actions add up in our players’ minds. Just being present in their lives can be more influential than we ever know. If they truly sense that their coach cares for them as players and as people they begin to understand they are valued.
I love seeing examples of the influence that coaches have in the lives of their players. At PeacePlayers it is our goal for our coaches’ role to naturally extend beyond the court and be that of a role model and mentor. One cannot force this upon a coach it has to come naturally. Which is why I was so proud to see in person the efforts of Zalihe with her young girls that extend beyond the basketball court. She gives her girls the gift of her time, and this is how they begin to sense how valued they are in their coaches’ eyes.