A Temporary Coach?!

Ten. 10 days. I am about to head into the single digit count-down. Am I freaking out? Absolutely. A little bit but maybe not quite as much as I will be closer to the moment. I think yesterday was the first time that I actually allowed my coach a glimpse into what is going on inside my head going into this competition. I’ve been intentional about keeping him shut out of my thoughts, because I know he cannot be at this competition. I understand and completely, 100% support him in that decision, so I have been reluctant to let him catch a glimpse into the turmoil that I feel in anticipating his absence. I know he can’t be there. I support his decision to not be there. Yet his not being there completely freaks me out. While I may not have completely revealed the scope of my freak out to him yesterday, it was good to share at least a little part of it with him. Not that I doubted it, but it is good to know that he believes in me even if he won’t be there.

Since I knew I would be coachless, I have been frantically trying to come up with some sort of tenable solution and coming up empty. It’s kind of a last resort, but I had decided that my daughter will be my “coach”, at least in terms of a support person allowed behind the curtain. I had essentially made that decision a while ago, but I didn’t share that with my daughter until last night. To be honest, I expected her to freak out. She took me by surprise when she seemed excited about the prospect. What exactly did I just get myself into?!

I’m only partially joking. My daughter seems keen on knowing what she needs to do, wanting to make notes and understand her role. She is also demanding payment in the form of a new fall jacket or a book bag for school. She has given me warning that she will yell at me and make me cry. Is there not anyone else that can support me?

My husband had offered to “coach” me, but I shot that one down immediately. I think I can handle my daughter helping me out, but having my husband with me behind the scenes would not be a good scenario. He would mean well, but I would probably want to rip him to shreds…and I probably would at some point. For all that my daughter seems to think that she will be the hard-core “coach”, she really doesn’t know what to expect from me as a competitor. While I don’t think I’ve ever been the prima donna athlete at a competition, I’ve also never had a family member acting as my coach. It is so much easier to let frustration colour my words or actions when dealing with a family member than it is with someone unrelated to me. I’ve never treated my coach harshly, at least not that I can recall, and I cannot imagine ever treating Michael in such a fashion. I might not intend to treat my family harshly, but I know that it can happen in the heat of the moment. I’m hoping that I will be gentler with my daughter than I would be with my husband. I believe that I would be, but this is unfamiliar territory.

Essentially, I think it will all boil down to being able to minimize my tendency to over-think. Michael might think that I am slightly joking when I say that I want my numbers completely in hand before I leave, but I am completely serious. I want to know my openers, my seconds, and I’m okay with 2 or 3 options for my third attempts but I want those numbers in advance. Without my coach there in body, I do not want to have to stress about my attempts at all! I know that Michael would like to decide on the third attempts based on how I’m feeling and how the bar is moving on my previous attempts. I get it. I’ve competed enough to understand his position, but I know how my brain operates. I think and I think and I think some more. Sometimes I think too much. I know this is true. I am trying not to think too much about what I cannot control going into this competition, but the flip side of that is making sure that I don’t have to think about those things that I can control, like my attempts. It’s not ideal, but it might be what it takes to make it through.

Who knows. I certainly don’t. I am freaked out and doubtful and hopeful and determined to rise above my perceived challenges. Can I do it? That remains to be seen.


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