My three children (ages 14, 16, and 18) have always been very involved in sports, and I have coached all of them in teams that they have been on from the time they were 5 years old until the present. Other parents would often be very appreciative that I would coach their children, but I always loved sports and I have always loved coaching my children and their friends. For me, volunteering my time and energy has not been a burden but rather something that I have really enjoyed.
Since my kids have always played on the teams I have coached I have always considered this undertaking to be somewhat motivated by my desire to coach my own kids. But I have also served as the coach of the Boston College High School mock trial team for approximately seven years. My children have never been on these teams, so this commitment has been more of a true volunteer effort.
Whether sports or mock trials it has always been a sacrifice to find the time to coach these teams. But the sacrifice has been worthwhile on so many fronts. I love sports and I am a trial lawyer, so there is something inherently rewarding in coaching kids in activities that I enjoy. A further reward is seeing kids develop and prosper in the activities that I am coaching. Part of the enjoyment in coaching is hopefully having your teams do well, but there is as much enjoyment in seeing the kids I am coaching becoming better, at least in part because of my efforts.
The final way that volunteering has always been rewarding has been the knowledge that the kids that I coach genuinely appreciate the effort and really get something out of it. Knowing that the time and effort that I put into volunteering is meaningful to the kids has always been a factor in making the experience important and more valuable for me.
Ultimately, it is important to do volunteer work as a way to give back to the community, and it is important to do community service even if the experience is not enjoyable and rewarding. However, it has always been my experience that doing volunteer work is rewarding and enjoyable at the same time that it is the right thing to do.