Career Change Turns Dr. Frank into Coach Jen

February 22, 2011

My new position affords me a little less call and a little more schedule predictability, thereby freeing me up to do other mom-type things like volunteer to be a soccer coach for my children’s indoor soccer teams. Instead of Dr. Frank, on Saturday mornings, I am Coach Jen.

One of the reasons for my recent job change was my desire to focus on being a mom who also happens to be a doctor, instead of being a doctor who also happens to be a mom. My new position affords me a little less call and a little more schedule predictability, thereby freeing me up to do other mom-type things like volunteer to be a soccer coach for my children’s indoor soccer teams. Instead of Dr. Frank, on Saturday mornings, I am Coach Jen.

Most of the kids on my daughter’s team just finished basketball season and are new to soccer. Therefore, when I and the other coaches started out the first practice with instructions to “dribble the ball to the goal,” we witnessed the kids picking up the soccer balls and bouncing them down the gym floor. Oops, other type of dribble. That particular practice found me emphasizing the “no hands” rule. I guess that’s a reasonable first step.

My son’s team is more advanced with many of the kids having played soccer before. The team is all boys except for one girl. She and I bonded over girl talk - what she had planned for the day and what was going on in school. I also tried to project an authoritative but friendly air for all the boys on the team, mainly focusing on getting them to look at me rather than wrestling each other to the floor.

Two things surprised me about my first Saturday as a coach. First, it was tiring - by the end of the two practices I was ready for a nap, a big glass of water, and something to eat. Second, it was a blast to spend time with my children and their friends playing a sport I happen to thoroughly enjoy myself. I was able to interact with my kids in a different way and see them as part of a team. The experience, thus far, is just one more affirmation that my career change was the right one.