It's not 100% firm yet, but it looks pretty likely that I'll be coaching again after having a year off. They want to put me on a 15 national team (they've replaced the open and club designations with national and regional), and best of all, I can likely retain the team for four years. That's like the ultimate experiment for me. I've never had a team for two years, let alone four!
So far I get the impression that this new club is where Quicksilver was a couple of years ago. There are actually several directors that work more in team fashion so no one person has the overall burden, and if one leaves, they can bring another on. I like that idea because no one person can suddenly pull it all out from under you they way my former club's director did. That still annoys me.
Having a year off has really helped me clear my head about what's important about coaching. Taking average kids and making them better has always been my thing, and particularly with my Elms team and second-to-last Quicksilver team, I also felt like I was getting the team dynamic right as well. My system already lends itself well to the kids making decisions on their own, but after those two teams, I understand how to empower them and get them to take ownership.
I'm still a little troubled by that last Quicksilver team I had, because they just didn't care, but I don't know that there was really anything I could do about that. About half of them just wanted to have fun, only they weren't having fun because they didn't want to work to be better and win now and then. As much as I internally want to take responsibility for that, a lot of former parents and kids told me I shouldn't. I need to let that go. In nine seasons, that was the only instance I had those kinds of problems.
In any case, I'm really looking forward to getting out there again. The girls I'll have trying out were roughly in the middle of the pack last year, behind the usual suspects, and it's that critical year where things can change pretty dramatically. As usual, I'm always optimistic going in. We'll see what happens!