Why I Volunteer with STRIDE Coach Will Wood

STRIDE Coach Will Wood at the 5K Finish Line

Our YMCA Organization was founded on volunteers and we need your help. Whether it is for STRIDE or our SNAP program for children with diverse abilities, the possibilities are endless to give back to your community. An amazing volunteer, Will Wood, captured why he has been a STRIDE volunteer for 9 seasons.

Why do I volunteer coach? 

Watching these runners go from third graders who can barely manage a full lap around the track to accomplished runners is incredible, but watching them go from third grade “kids” to teammates in fourth grade and leaders in fifth grade makes me realize, every year, that we underestimate what our children can do.

What do I love about volunteer coaching?

I love seeing the runners building the connections between the curriculum, running, life and the team. There is something amazing about watching a veteran runner help lead a discussion, slow down for a struggling teammate, tell a story that connects the dots for someone else or recognize someone else for their effort or because they needed a lift. We are not just training the next generation of runners, we are training the next generation of coaches.

Why would I encourage someone to volunteer coach?

 When the season wraps up I find myself bereft of the opportunity to spend the afternoon watching these guys do something incredible. I have coached other sports and been involved in dozens of activities as a parent, none of them has made this big an impact on me or my family. My wife cries when our runners cross the finish line, and she’s not alone. I say it every season: I get more out of this than the runners do.  

Category: Volunteering