Is Your Weekend Passion For Design – Or Something Else?

Posted on | September 22, 2012 | 7 Comments

I will readily confess that Monday through Friday, I am securely tethered to my smart phone and laptop. I truly love publishing a website that presents outstanding interior designers, retailers and other home improvement professionals from across North Carolina. Come September however – that passion I have for my work – it pales in comparison to the excitement I experience on Saturday mornings. During the fall and spring of every year, I take off the Publisher’s hat and become “Coach Liz” on the sidelines of the soccer field.

You see, I coach U-12 Boys, and that’s my real passion. Sharing my love for a game that I played for nearly 20 years – what a kick! On Saturdays, I pace the sidelines, cheer the boys on, call out plays and argue a little with the referee. (Ok, I admit, I argue more than a little.) I keep telling myself that it keeps me young, but my knees would say otherwise. The fact is that I find coaching so rewarding. It’s just plain fun to give without the expectation of receiving anything in return. Seeing a play we worked on in practice make a difference in the game – that’s my pay back.

When the whistle blows to start the game, you’ll often find me pacing the sidelines – barefoot. I do like the feel of soft Bermuda grass underfoot. We play in the Y league and as a female coach, I am a rarity. Over the years, the joke among the parents has been that I am the only coach whose lipstick matches their toenail polish! After our first practice of the season, the new boys on the team quickly realize that I’ve “got game,” and so the fact that I’m a “girl” no longer matters to them. I do consider it an honor to be called “Coach.”

Many years ago, I had three players on my team with the same name. I imagined the game time confusion as I barked directions to “Patrick.” This prompted me to give each of the three a nick name. Not long after, every player on the team had a nick name. It’s been that way on each team since them. Gooch, Hoover, Bon Jovi, Buzz, Kareem, Curly, Bud, and so on. Every year, the new players can’t wait to find out what name I come up with for them.

Fifteen years ago, on a Sunday evening, I sat in church, listening to the announcements. They needed soccer coaches. At that time, I still played soccer. I thought, “I know the game… I could coach.” I never expected to stick around this long. I’d had great some great coaches in the sports I played growing up. It only seemed right to give back what had been given to me.

It’s been a great ride, but I have decided that this year will be my last. This coming spring, I will hang up my cleats, so to speak. The kids have been great. The parents have been great. The refs have been… Like I said, the kids have been great. Coaching all these years… It’s been a real kick in the grass.

By the way, we won our game this weekend, 3 – 2, which is why there were smiles all around at the end of the game. I’d love to hear from you about the activities that renew and restore you … during your breaks from the laptops and smart phones.

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7 Responses to “Is Your Weekend Passion For Design – Or Something Else?”

  1. traci zeller designs
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 7:36 PM

    Love it! Go, Coach Liz!!!

  2. Liz Hughes
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 8:43 PM

    Thanks Traci! I am sure with the Twinkies, you spent a good part of the day outdoors, on the run too!

  3. Donna
    September 22nd, 2012 @ 9:23 PM

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this Liz! What a fantastic way to escape on the weekend, stay in the game and give back! I’m hoping you’ll change your mind on retirement :)

  4. Liz Hughes
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 3:20 AM

    Donna – thanks for your kind words. It will not be easy to walk away, but it will be the right time. It has been such a fantastic ride. ~ Liz

  5. Amy Vermillion
    September 23rd, 2012 @ 5:03 PM

    Yay Liz!
    So nice to know you’re needed!!
    Go Coach!

  6. Ashleigh Long
    October 4th, 2012 @ 10:44 PM

    Can’t tell you in words the impression you have made on Connor. With your knowledge of the game and love of it too truly makes him love it as much and strive to get better. I have seen him grow in more ways than one and can’t thank you enough for nurturing my child. As they say it takes a community and your time spent is greatly appreciated. I hate to think you retiring and taking with you the experience of a lifetime. Nice pictures too.

  7. Liz Hughes
    October 5th, 2012 @ 2:39 AM

    Thanks so much Ashleigh. It is a pleasure and an honor to be called “Coach.” I also appreciate you assisting me as our Team Mom. GREAT JOB on your part taking the pictures for this post. ~ Liz

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