Pursue Your Passion

I work as a counselor at San Diego City College, and we had a Student Success Day for new students on June 30th. I worked with a lady (I’m going to call her Claire) at an education planning session who said she went to an earlier workshop we facilitated called “Identify Your Career.” Claire said it made her think about passion and purpose and what she should pursue. She thought of being a softball coach but she was afraid and had some doubts about her age. She looked to be in her early forties.

At the education planning sessions, we have a lot of students we need to work with to develop a two-semester plan, so we don’t have time to do career planning. I had to advise her to schedule an hour appointment with a counselor at a later date to look at her career in more depth. It was hard for me to tell her this because she was really struggling with whether to choose coaching as her career, but I couldn’t take the time to work with her there.

I hope that Claire scheduled an appointment to talk with a counselor but if she didn’t, here is what I would have wanted to convey:

Dear Claire,

I know it can be scary to think about going after something you feel passionate about. From my perspective, if the thought of being a softball coach brings up some fears, that’s not necessarily a bad sign. The jitters may be because you’re on the right track. If you are thinking about a career you’ve never done before, some anxiety is perfectly normal and expected. The fact that you’re nervous tells me it’s important to you, and I hope you pick a career that really means something to you because you’ll put more effort and energy into it. You’ll put your heart and soul into it and you’ll make a difference to the players you’re coaching. 

And I suspect that some of the prospective players who will want to be on your team may experience the same kinds of fears and doubts you are currently having. Is it something they can really do? Do they have what it takes? Will they be good enough? You will understand these fears because you have gone through this yourself, and it will make you a better coach.  

As to the age issue, you can’t let that get in your way. Banish the thought that you’re too old because it will only hold you back. There is no age limit to being a softball coach, just as there isn’t one to become a counselor, a teacher, a mentor, a guide, or a friend and you will be all of these as a coach. 

Go and talk to some softball coaches because they are the ones doing the work you want to do. Find out how they became coaches, and I suspect you will discover they harbored some of the same doubts and fears when they started out. You will also find people who share your passion and you will be inspired by the fact that there are real people doing what you dream about

And when you talk to some softball coaches, ask someone you really connect with to mentor you, because even coaches need some guidance.

Uncover what it takes to become a softball coach, and then go after it with everything you have. 

And when you’re a coach, I hope you come back and tell me how it feels to be living your dream.