by: Colby Harris
In the last year I have had many opportunities to get involved in the lives of young people. From being a counselor at Grit Camp to now coaching flag football and soccer, I have come to thoroughly enjoy my time with the kids. Whether it's seeing them grow, hearing them crack immature jokes, or having to deal with their antics, I have found positives within it all. Although I learned that investing time into them is very beneficial for the kids, it's also become my favorite part of the week and is something I constantly look forward to. The feeling I get from being surrounded by these little lights of life is like no other and it reminds me that having fun really is the most important thing in life.
Following my 2nd summer at Grit University, I realized how impactful the kids are in my life. Is it frustrating some days? Absolutely. Their focus is very sporadic, temper tantrums are a daily occurrence, and if I turn my back for a second the playing field might just turn into an episode of WWE smackdown! On the flipside, they might make my day with a friendly comment about my muscles or by making amends with one another after a minor confrontation. Throughout all the ups and downs, the kids always fight their way back up! This is something I love because more mature people would call this determination, perseverance, or “never giving up”, but to the kids it's just the only option they see. They want to have fun, they want to laugh, and they want to enjoy life! This emanates from them and has powerful effects on me. As a 19 year old I can happily say I am influenced by people half my age!
As previously mentioned, I am currently coaching soccer and flag football. Both my teams are composed of 9 to 10 year olds. This is one of my favorite age groups to work with because they are just now breaking into a life where they can start to think for themselves and derive their own opinions. Another thing I love about this age group is those who truly want to be there and really have a passion for sports, you can tell! The intensity these kids bring on gameday is insane. Again, watching them enjoy their day competing and bringing that desire to win, rubs off on me each time. As both my teams have head coaches, and even multiple assistant coaches, I have titled myself as the “hype man”. Although I do help create and orchestrate drills at practice, come game day I just get these kids turned up and ready to play! I focus on bringing high energy and just bouncing it off the guys every Saturday. This has been an amazing outlet for me to let loose and be excited! No matter what could be going on in my personal life, or in business, my kids come to play every practice and every game, so I have to bring my all to the table to get them into the zone.
Coaching kids has taught me so much but the main thing it's taught me is to enjoy the journey. From my eyes, it's rare that these kids are in a huge hurry to get somewhere. Don't get me wrong, they can be antsy, but only when they are inactive. If you can keep a kid busy, then they will happily focus on the task at hand, and more often than not, they will enjoy it! I feel like where maturing young adults like myself get lost is by becoming inactive. They have no stimulation in their life and in turn, become bored and unhappy- chasing something that isn't even within reach. To be more present in the moment is one thing, but to focus on what is within your presence is another! Practice not only living in the moment, but creating surroundings that are enjoyable and beneficial for you. To learn more about being a happy human, and less about leading the rat race, go spend some time with someone younger than you!