Be a Panda in a Heat Gym

Whenever I coach volleyball, my eldest son loves to come with me. He insists on wearing his “coaching” shirt which is a University of Alberta Pandas volleyball shirt. This shirt is precious to him (and me!) as it was given to him by my coach when I played. Her daughter had worn the shirt until she grew out of it.


I love this shirt too! But last week, I was coaching at the University of British Columbia Okanagan Club Volleyball tryouts (Whew, that was a mouthful!). I chose my wardrobe carefully, wearing a Heat shirt of course! He wore his Panda shirt and I must admit that I received a comment from someone on the Heat coaching staff.

It made me realize how immune my son is to doing something simple that made someone else feel uncomfortable.

How often do I do the “comfortable” thing because I don’t want to offend anyone? How often do I do something because I don’t want to hurt someone’s feelings?


I am so outwardly focused on wondering and worrying about my actions or words and how they are perceived by people outside my immediate circle. My inner circle gets the “real” Joanna, but others get a watered-down “comfortable” version of Joanna.

This simple shirt incident made me realize that I need to be more like my five year old son. Every day, I need to put on my ‘coaching shirt’ of my choice, do my best and have fun! Sorry if it makes you feel uncomfortable!

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