We had the good fortune of connecting with Carolyn A. Sideco and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Carolyn A., can you walk us through the thought-process of starting your business?
For years I witnessed well-intentioned sports program directors and administrators burn out and become cynical about their profession. I wanted deeper connection with my colleagues in spaces where we could honestly talk about and help each other persist and thrive in educational sports. In January 2020 I announced my impending resignation from my AD position of 20 years. I know I wanted to focus on AD retention, on accompanying emerging ADs and coaches in their personal and professional development.

The COVID-19 pandemic granted me time and space to incubate ideas. I enrolled in a free 8-week entrepreneurial course and started to develop a business plan and to articulate the ideas and thoughts that now exist as CoachingKapwa’s values, mission statement, and vision.

This new pathway of CoachingKapwa, adjacent to the American industrialized sports complex, conveys my love for educational sports and for the people who align to it. It is my offering of healing and wholeness to a culture that’s raised me.

Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
I am Carolyn A. Sideco, founder of CoachingKapwa Sports Consultants LLC . Kapwa is a Filipino language word that expresses the collectivist worldview of the sentiment “I am you and you are me”; we are all interconnected and interdependent. People call me Coach Sideco.

My sports story includes a long arc of being an athlete, coach, administrator, parent, mentor, and support for others. I was 9 years old, trying to make friends at a new school, when I was invited to play on the school’s volleyball team. In high school, I wrote a column for the school newspaper’s sports page titled “Off The Bench” and was the school’s first 4-year softball catcher/captain. I coached youth and high school sports. I claim that I am the shortest person to officiate a California state basketball championship game (2006) and I believe I was a part of the first all-women basketball officiating crew to work a CA state championship game.

Sports jobs supported me when I was a single parent. I continue to make a daily ritual of crafting and emerging identity through relationship-building interactions with people and energies of this world. Now, with over 30 years of rooting lineage threads in all levels of educational sports, I’m continuing my life journey in a shifting ecosystem.

CoachingKapwa emerged as the continued expression of my integrated personal and professional journeywork. A few years ago I was a veteran athletic director struggling to compartmentalize my professional duties and my wellness needs. After two miscarriages and abandonment from a professional culture that trained me to “suck it up!”, I grieved alone but soon discovered that many of my colleagues experienced similar fragmentation. We huddled in bars or in the back of conference workshops, griping about various oppressions, and yet publicly boasting with pride about our sacrifice to our student athletes and programs.

My own wellness practices originated from deep identity dives. I am still evolving as I collect and recollect all fragments of myself. I examine all sports relationships through a decolonizing lens of an immigrant settler. As a Filipina immigrant to America, I use decolonizing practices to unknot my relationship to all levels of sports, distilling the essence and values that sports convey for self-actualization and community contribution. I’ve learned about life through the metaphors I experienced in sports.This new journey of CoachingKapwa conveys my love for educational sports and for the people who align to it. It is my offering of healing and wholeness to a culture that’s raised me.

Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Shoutout to all educational athletic directors in the US, especially the women and People of the Global Majority (PGM) whose work is undervalued and whose contributions to our United States sporting cultures is under-recognized.

Shoutout specifically to San Francisco’s Filipino-American Development Foundation (https://www.bayanihancc.org/) and SOMA Pilipinas (https://www.somapilipinas.org/), two place-based organizations whose work is the foundation of my life vision of service to community.

Website: www.coachingkapwa.com

Instagram: @coachingkapwa / @coachsideco

Linkedin: https://www.linkedin.com/company/coachingkapwa-sports-relational-consultants/

Twitter: @coachingkapwa

Facebook: KapwaCoachSideco

Youtube: https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLpVg1-V1Lz_ttsu7pJyLV2frHQnWY0UNF

Image Credits
Schema 2021 image via @behindthewhistle

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