I coach soccer girls who are now high school freshmen. It's a little tough for me to realize that their once highly important weekend soccer match is now lower down their lists of priorities. It's tough just because I like them so much, and I enjoy the times we spend together. I remember the same feeling with the boys team I coached for ten years when they started to become strong and independent young people.
Today we lost a game--a really close one--but that's not really important. What I liked about itwas the way the girls are making decisions for themselves. I still do "coach" from the sidelines, but I would say they hear very little of what I'm saying. Sure, there are times when I wish they would hear me more because I can see some things that they can't. But, the highest compliment a coach can receive comes in the form of the success his players have on the field and in their lives. The fact that they don't really hear me now means they have grown confident enough to create and think on their own, for their team, and for each other.
You can read more about the Avalanche on their web site.