The Revolution Experience
I currently have 4 children playing at different age levels throughout the Flagstaff Revolution organization. I am an assistant coach for the 2010 age bracket in which my son Ollie plays goalie and excels. I have coached multiple sports in Flagstaff in an effort to give my kids a well-rounded sports experience. My experience tells me that not all sports organizations are created equal. Sports benefit kids in many different ways. People tend to think fitness is the number one benefit of sports, but there are many others that are equally as important. These include structure, accountability, self-discipline, adaptiveness, coachability, and team work. For an organization to teach these skills to its young athletes it must have within it the ability to model strong leadership and a united vision.
Being a part of Flag Football, Baseball and Basketball programs in Flagstaff has made me appreciate what happens when the coaching and organization do not have a united vision. I’ve always been a volunteer coach, as well as everyone on the Revolution staff. There is great benefit to having volunteer coaches as it keeps down the cost to the players and attracts volunteers that have a true passion for the game. However, when I have coached in other leagues volunteers are always hard to come by and the organizations have some responsibility for this. In these other organizations coaches received rosters a week before games, fields were often not ready and lined, and the referees often were pulled in last minute and didn’t know the rules. This was always a constant frustration for myself as well as other coaches that really thought out our game plans and team structure. It made volunteers feel underappreciated for all of the time and effort they put into game plans, practices and defensive and offensive strategies. Yes, the players were getting exercise, but it was hard to teach other values like structure, accountability and self-discipline when the organization we were playing under did not. In the case of Flag Football, the situation frustrated me so much last spring that I decided, after 4 seasons of coaching, I would not allow my kids or myself to be a part of an organization that didn’t value the entire sports experience.
Our first season with Revolution was actually an anomaly in that I decided to sit out and let others do the coaching. In part, because I was burnt out by previous experiences. After a season of watching Coach Kirk and his staff it was clear this was an organization I wanted to give my unpaid time to. Revolution is a program I truly believe in. Watching Coach Kirk and Joe guide the team through the challenges of a sports year with Covid, I was in awe of their commitment and sacrifice to the kids and this club. I wanted not just my kids, but also myself to be a part of this. Their commitment meant that growth took place for all the players throughout the entire season. At the beginning of last season, we went to 3 tournaments in the valley where we weren’t very competitive. Rest assured, we continued to train hard and then we started to progressively give our opponents more of a challenge. All of our hard work and progress came to a head at our final tournament in Flagstaff. We knocked off 3 teams that were ranked in the top 50 in the state, and made it into the finals in a bracket no one thought we had any business being in. I give an immense amount of credit to the players for this, of course, but it was the commitment of the coaches and parents that got us that far. We have the most dedicated group of parents, and I’m proud to be apart of the family. That is what Revolution is in its essence. We have the trust, respect, and total focus of our coaches and parents, which allows the players to be the best versions of themselves on and off the pitch.