There are two big reasons that I enjoy coaching. The first, it feels good to walk out of class as the bell rings, head to the gym and play a sport for two hours. When I first started teaching ALL I thought about were my classes, but those were two hours everyday I knew I devoted to something else. It was my stress reliever. The second reason is that I have been able to build relationships with more students. There were five girls in my classes on the first team I coached. The rest were freshman to sophomores I got to know. The students I had in my classes quickly became the first ones that participated, followed instructions, and lead the example to others to respect my class. In practice I could not only coach but serve as a mentor to the students teaching responsibility and work ethic. Honestly, I got to see results from the work I put in faster than I would in the classroom. Girls that showed up on the first day who had never played the sport before had the skills down after a few weeks. One girl started on the freshman team and finished the season on varsity. At times when it seemed like my students in class still couldn't add or subtract, I could count on my teams to show what they had learned.
I tell most new teachers to coach. It's fun and unbelievably rewarding. You should be prepared for many cereal dinners, but that's worth it. Sports are a huge part of many of our students lives, they are a big part of the school, and you should be involved in them. Even if you can't coach or it's really not for you, get out there and support your students by attending the games. The students appreciate it, the coaches appreciate it, and I promise you will have some fun. Soccer playoffs are going on today, softball and baseball seasons are in full swing, it's Friday, go find a game!