noteworth: he called me coach

C played for the school football team AND he studied the piano. And I loved that he called me “coach.”

Just a few weeks before our scheduled recital, C’s mother came into my teaching studio, C trailing a bit behind her.

MOM: “Miss JNET, the recital is coming up and I don’t know about this piece that C is working on….”

JNET: “The piece?”

MOM: “It’s not an easy piece. C has been working on it and I don’t think it will be ready by the recital. Perhaps he can play one of his former songs?”

JNET: “Why don’t we ask C?” (turning to C) “C, your mother is concerned that we may have taken on a piece that is too demanding for you. Do you want to do this piece?”

C: (nodding his head) “Yes.”

JNET: “Wouldn’t you rather we polish a piece that we have already worked on?”

C: “No. I want to do this one.”

JNET: “Can you be prepared by recital time?”

C: (nodding) “Yes, Coach.”

JNET: (turning to MOM) “I believe him. Let’s get to playing and working on the piece then.”

This wasn’t to be the only time a parent would approach me concerned that their child may not be ready for a performance. And each time, I did the same thing that I did with C; I looked at my student squarely in the eye and asked if they believed in themselves to be able to do what was hoped for.

Its a very powerful thing to see a young person own their choices with conviction especially since many young people may feel compelled to please their parents and choose to do what pleases their parents. Parents may also feel that they need to protect their child from not have a good performance experience. But when a young person wants to stand on their own word and belief to do something well despite anyone’s opinion. Well, that’s when you honor the young adult and trust them.

How did he do at the recital, you wonder?

He did very well. He was poised and most importantly, he also had fun. His parents and I were very moved and proud.

Things could have gone a whole other direction. I could have chosen to be intimidated by the parents’ worries and not even ask C what he felt. I may had taken away the chance for him to do a challenging piece that he believed he could do though both of us had not seen it played with ease at his lessons until then.

Do we sometimes give more playtime to fear and insecurity than to possibility? Do we sometimes aid in the destruction of bridges to possibility or are we part of the bridge?

He called me coach. He knew we were on the same team. He believed in himself and he knew that he could reach his goal if I believed in him too.

Be a coach. Your belief is part of the bridge.



~ by jnetsworld on January 10, 2013.


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