Coach Lexi served as my Special Olympics coach for the Mavericks. She has been an incredible mentor, role model, and human being to me. She has brought so much joy, inspiration, and positive energy to me, my fellow teammates on the Mavericks, and Special Olympics in general. I sat down with her and asked her how she got involved and some of her personal philosophies and perspectives on coaching effectively.
Coach Lexi has been involved in Special Olympics for eight years. She discovered the existence of this organization through Special Olympics Coach Dan Dillon after she graduated from college and was currently dating Dan Dillon’s son. When Coach Dan learned that Lexi played basketball in college, he brought her up to speed on Special Olympics.
Since then, she has been involved within the organization ever since and has never looked back. Special Olympics has forever changed Coach Lexi’s life for the better. She always feels better when she leaves Special Olympics, more so than when she first arrives. She has learned the importance of enjoying the little things, the importance of patience, and overall, understanding that every athlete has a different way of learning new skills properly.
When I asked if there are any challenges disabled individuals go through that she would like to address, she stated, “A misconception is that working with people with special needs is draining or difficult. Everyone is different, and you need to understand how to work with each person. It’s also about finding the right community and group of people to be a part of.”
A misconception is that working with people with special needs is draining or difficult. Everyone is different, and you need to understand how to work with each person.
Another thing Coach Lexi told me that she has learned through her Special Olympics experience is, “You can find joy in anything that you are doing, even if it’s challenging.” Coach Lexi was able to, at one point, bring a very shy and quiet athlete out of his shell by coaching him one on one. As a result, Lexi was able to help him open up to his fellow athletes, the world around him, and the overall experience as a whole.
Overall, Coach Lexi is a great example of an inspiring, inspirational, and noble leader and mentor who is shining a light and positive energy within Special Olympics and the community as a whole. I can’t wait to get back to practice with her!