The Rider Online | Legacy HS Student Media

Life on the Sideline

Jaden McKinnon

Jaden McKinnon

Jaden Mckinnon, Staff Writer

Last year, Coach Sam asked a few girl basketball players to help out during spring football. I originally signed up to get community service for AVID, and an excuse to drag my best friend to do something with me. I thought I would bring the coaches something once in a while and run the scoreboard. The stereotype fooled me.

Managers help out more than people think. People have the misconception that trainers and managers do the same job. They don’t. Managers film the team on shaky ladders, run errands for the coaches, work the clock, control the music, come to every 100-degree practice, fix and hang all the equipment and give up Saturday mornings to help with laundry.

I planned to quit after one week of spring football, but at 7 a.m., I got a text from Coach Wyatt to remind me of practice. At that moment, I did not know whether to ignore it or commit to this. I immediately called my friend, Laila, who already arrived at practice. The good friend I am, I joined her. Ironically, a couple days later, Laila tore her ACL, which meant I was now alone.

My experience on the sideline excites me but causes stress at the same time. At certain moments, the coaches could act calmly or even start to celebrate. A second later, coaches could yell for zip ties, start to argue with the refs or shout for everyone to get back on the sideline or go crazy because they need a helmet. You do not take anything personal at a game, especially if the team starts losing.  

A couple of months ago, I could not imagine myself start to jump up and down over a touchdown. I couldn’t tell you the difference between a safety and a cornerback. I never thought I would fear getting tackled on the sideline. My anxiety often gets triggered between basketball, school, a job and managing. I know the old me would have given up by now. This experience helped the new me realize adulthood just started and life will be fine.

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