A “Coach to Participant” Perspective

A “Coach to Participant” Perspective

A “Coach to Participant” Perspective 1717 1093 Nathan Schaffernoth

More Than What Meets The Eye

Elizabeth shares her perspective on a participant she works with

Johnny is more than just a participant at E-Soccer in Foster City, Johnny is my friend. Johnny will be a freshman in high school this fall and I have had the privilege to work with him since I was in high school, and it’s been three years since I graduated. Working with Johnny for so long means he makes me feel pretty special. For example, if one of the other coaches begins to work with him and I come by to say hello, he leaves them and comes to work with me. Trust me, he definitely knows how to make a lady feel special.

Johnny is the most energetic kid I’ve ever gotten to build a friendship with. He jumps for joy when he beats me during a run, he laughs at all my silly jokes and never stops asking questions about my life. He asks about my day, what movies I’ve seen and why I like certain superheroes. And with Johnny, I can’t just say a one word answer, I have to say why I like or don’t like certain things, he isn’t a shallow person He likes to know the details about my life. He’s not satisfied with quick one-worded answers. Most weeks, Johnny asks if I’ve seen a new movie and often times I haven’t but Johnny certainly has. He tells me about the scenes he loves and can certainly quote his favorite lines. One that always resurfaces is, “It’s so fluffy!” from Despicable Me. And with him running around E-Soccer yelling “It’s so fluffy!”, I can’t help but laugh and join in on his enthusiasm. His smile and laugh have such an impact on all the coaches that no one is able to contain their laughter around Johnny.

I admire his depth and interest in people’s lives, he always wants to know why I like things, or why I do things. Like why I haven’t seen a movie, why I wear certain wristbands, or why I missed a week.

His depth in friendships makes up for his lack of vision. His questions and enthusiasm about life despite his challenges reflect E-Soccer perfectly. It’s about friendship no matter who or what limitations are involved. He’s more than just being partially blind, it’s about seeing beyond the limitations we face and creating friendships that make impact.

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Nathan Schaffernoth
About the author

Nathan Schaffernoth

Nathan has a B.S. in kinesiology, with an emphasis on neuromuscular science. He has been an E-Sports participant and now coordinator, and is currently a podcast and video producer for the E-Sports digital media team.

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