Things I Have Learned as a Volunteer

To say this year was full of highs and lows is an understatement. My heart has soared and it’s had a bit of heartbreak. I could’ve fill many pages about both, but this post will serve only to cover the things I’ve learned from volunteering for a youth sports organization.

I wish I could say there were equally positive experiences and benefits from donating my time, but there weren’t. Frankly, I met a few cool people and had some fun, but if I had to sum it up; it mostly was a soul sucking experience.

Here is the list I wrote in just a few minutes, right after sending in my resignation letter. So here we go…

  • People with the loudest voice, often put in the least effort.
  • No one gets to decide what level of expectations I should have, but me.
  • People with a pack mentality, often have more support because people want to be “in the club.”
  • Often the pack mentality will turn sour and eventually turn people away.
  • Don’t ever take a board position (even if you can offer them lots of help) if you are not a politician.
  • I am not a politician.
  • No amount of effort will appease everyone. Yes, you could quit your job and be at everyone’s beck and call, but someone will always have an issue about something.
  • Those who are not in the arena don’t get to pass judgement. They can and will, but you shouldn’t care.
  • I care to freaking much.
  • I put everything I’ve got into my commitments.
  • People won’t always be grateful or even know what’s being done behind the scenes.
  • It’s easy to know it all from the sidelines.
  • Big mouths that are approached with a “put up or shut up” option will suddenly get nervous or disappear.
  • Most people will always take the easy way out.
  • They will also do only what benefits themselves.
  • Some people will forget that this is about the kids. Not about position or power.
  • I’m confident every choice and decision I’ve made was in the best interest of the league (even if it didn’t benefit me personally or often even my kids sadly).
  • I shouldn’t let this sour my outlook and attitude on volunteering.
  • It has and I’m going to need to work through that.
  • I should only volunteer in ways that fill my bucket.

Please don’t let this sway your decisions about volunteering. Not all organizations or people are the same. This was just my experience at this point in time. It’s too soon to tell if I’ll ever put myself in a position like that again, but having this list will serve as a reminder to make better choices and to put my energy toward things that really matter.

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Obstacle Course Racer. Business Owner. Parent and Ordinary Person. Learning to slow down & embrace the wild.

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