Soccer Coach with Multiple Sclerosis
It was in February when I was at the musty office trying to sign up my son for the Spring season recreational soccer. There were many reasons that led me to the office. After a interesting Fall Semester of major injuries from accidental play and bullying. He needed something more positive, to be more physically active and to be around a better group of friends.
In the application form there was an question that asked if I would like to coach? Hmm. Part of me just wanted to be more present for my son while he participated in sports, another part of me was a nervous mom wondering if having M.S. would interfere the opportunity to coach. I had many more reasons to tell myself no, than yes.
Instagram photo link on studying for the license.
So isn’t that a familiar scenario when one has a delibitating disease like M.S. I surfed the web for possible issues I may run into, items such as heat related issues such as heat exhaustion, worsening of my multiple sclerosis symptoms, stress or drop foot syndrome. I realized my biggest hurdle I had was my mind and decided to volunteer to coach soccer with a group of 7 year olds.
So what physical ailments I experienced while coaching. My dopamine was on high when I worked at the field. So I had the energy and went through some limping in some of the practices and games. It all worked well. I co-coached with another coach who was informed of my condition and he was a great coach who tag team to teach the kids at practices.
Some things I felt that helped me greatly was to exercise. I exercised three times a week as my schedule allowed. Exercising still helps me to keep my muscles toned and gave me strength that I didn’t really have before. I would use the stationary bike weekly and that helped me mantain my balance.
New England research on cycling effects over balance
Water gives life and without it can literally kill you. The warmest spring day was 93F and it was on a game day. I did experience heat exhaustion and seeked help from the parents. Water was the key item that helped me endure the very hot humid weather.
So many lessons came from coaching the 7 year olds. For me friendships were created with parents, being active made me stronger and boost my confidence.
I am so proud of my boys. Their performance and energy truly ignited me. I thank God for the experiences that came from coaching for the first time. My heart was in it to allow them to play, grow, create friendships. The objective in my heart was to acheive this and a safe non bully environment, which was a plus.