Name: Robert Posey
From: Arab , Alabama
School: Snead State Community College
We begin to see the confidence of young women plummet in their early and mid-teen
years. The entire world is changing for them; a world that was once
focused on fun and light-hearted activities is suddenly thrust into a
world centered on a standard of aesthetic beauty that is achieved
only through the use of image manipulation software or shear torture.
It has become my goal as a volunteer soccer coach for a young ladies’
soccer team to show impressionable kids and teenagers that they are
not defined by a culturally adopted standard of what is “beautiful”
or “desirable” to others, but instead by what they can achieve
and where they find their happiness.
As a volunteer I officially spend about six hours each week on the soccer fields, but
the hours that really add up are the things I do between those
increments. The challenge of being a positive influence to young
women is more than just being there; I spend most of my free time
preparing for when I will be around them. I watch videos, read
articles, and scour the internet for things not only related to
soccer but also studying the problems these young women face in
today’s society. I have to familiarize myself with anything they
might be facing and know how to react when that problem comes up or
what I can do to prepare them for it.
I hope that what I do
inspires change in how my players view themselves and society. I
would love to look back fifteen years from now and see the players I
coached spreading my message to future generations. The joy I attain
from volunteering has inspired me to enroll back in college and
become a teacher. I had a great coach as a teen who taught me to aim
high and I hope that I can help others to do the same.
There is no single proudest moment as a volunteer youth soccer
coach, but instead a plethora of moments accumulating into a
rewarding sense of accomplishment that I am incapable of describing.
The most rewarding moment did not come when my team won the area
championship last season. It was not this season when my team finally
beat a team from a much larger city for the first time. It comes in
high fives, and fist bumps. It comes in hugs and smiles. I am most
proud of my accomplishments when I see them take up for each other on
social media; when I see them build other young women up instead of
tearing them down. It comes from when a young lady who I coach tells
me that I’m the closest thing she has ever had to a father. I am
proud when I see them saying, “like a girl” as a compliment
instead of an insult. I take pride mostly, in their pride. All of
these things amount to a standard of currency valuable enough to
consider this a paid job.