By: Dr. Lisa M. Coffey
September 12, 2022
Most know I am a cheerleading coach and have been for 30 years. I have spent 28 years coaching the Penn Hills youth and high school programs. I began coaching in Penn Hills at 28 when my youngest son was seven days old. Savon, my son is now 28, so I have been coaching cheerleaders all his life.
I remember my son running around the football field, watching his older brother play while I coached cheerleading. From the time he could walk, he was on the sidelines and the team's mascot! Savon had his uniform and helmet. He was tiny in his oversized helmet and looked like a "Weeble Wobble" head on the sidelines. Eventually, Savon grew up and fell in love with football. Although my sons are grown-ups now, I continue to coach.
Last year I contemplated retiring from cheerleading for many reasons; however, I pushed past the uncertainty, prayed for clarity, and decided to coach again this year. Unbeknownst to me, my son would later become an assistant football coach at Penn Hills High School at 28. So we would coach on the same sideline. That is when I had my "Ah Ha" moment.
On the sideline together is three generations, my son, myself, and his son Me'Khi. The latter is soaking in the Friday night lights atmosphere, sharing in the exhilaration of his father's energy/passion, and immersed in a culture of sportsmanship, competition, and character building. Coaching requires characteristics that empower others while strengthening your core values and principles. These characteristics help coaches in every aspect of their lives, including interpersonal relationships, parenting, and career. The characteristics include but are not limited to:
My son's energy has revitalized me because seeing the identical coaching qualities I possess makes me proud. In my book iDid and uCan 2, I wrote, "parental behaviors significantly influence your offspring as children and adults. Modeling good parental choices is a necessary parenting strategy that provides a blueprint for children to follow at some point in their lives. Be mindful of your mood, have a keen self-awareness (plans, goals, moral compass, etc.), tend to your relationships, make swift decisions, implement changes, develop a positive family culture, and ditch criticism. By doing so, you are modeling behaviors and creating patterns for offspring to mirror. " Thus, my "Ah Ha" moment. It is one thing to write about a topic because of your research and beliefs, but seeing your actions manifest in your offspring is gratifying.
My previous blog post was about two little boys watching me at the football game and gifted me a bracelet. This post is about my impact on my son through my coaching career. Someone is always watching; as parents, our offspring are the nearest sponge. So be mindful of your actions, be intentional in relationships, and always empower others.
(c) 2022 Dr. Lisa M. Coffey- All rights reserved
A "Weeble-Wobble" head is a toy introducted in 1971 by Hasboro/RomperRoom. The toys had oversized heads and they wobbled but never fell down.