Balancing being a mother, a coach and a teacher can be tough for anyone. But coaching your own daughter means those lines become even more blurred.
But Mary Carol Rasbury has never felt like her mother, Emily Rasbury, who coaches the track and field team at Horseshoe Bend, has never crossed any lines. In fact, rather than showing favoritism to her own daughter, Emily actually said it’s the opposite.
“I’m definitely way harder on my own children than others,” Emily said with a laugh. “I can talk to them any way. I can look at them and say, ‘Get off your lazy butt.’ I can talk to them like a momma talks as opposed to other people’s children.”
But Mary Carol, who was recently named the District 4 recipient of the Coaches’ Children Scholarship, actually likes that approach from her mom.
“Now I’m a graduated senior and going into adult life, since I had someone pushing me extra, it’s going to help me in the long run,” Mary Carol said. “She had to push me more because she didn’t want other kids to think I was being babied. I’m glad she did; it’s one of those things I’m very thankful for because I was pushed more because I was a coach’s kid.”
The Coaches’ Children Scholarship is awarded to 10 student-athletes around the state, each of whom is awarded $1,000. Kids are selected based on an application process by the Scholarship Committee of the Alabama High School Athletic Directors & Coaches Association.
Emily actually got into running because of Mary Carol. She said she wanted to be a fitter, healthier mom for Mary Carol and eventually took over the Horseshoe Bend cross country and track teams over the last few years. However, unlike Emily’s other daughters, Rebecca and Katie, Mary Carol is not a runner.
But when Emily was on the recruiting trail for the Generals’ new track and field program, which began two seasons ago, Mary Carol was actually one of the first to jump on board.
“I just wanted to try something new,” Mary Carol said. “My mom was actually very surprised because I am a band nerd, but when I asked if I joined the team for shot and disc, she said, ‘I would love for you to do that.’
“Because I’m more of a plus-sized girl, it was a big step for me. But when you do the shot and discus, you want those beefy girls. I really fill the figure to be on the shot and disc team because I had a more muscular body.”
Although Mary Carol fit well onto the team, the pair still needed to find a balance of home life and work life. Admittedly, Emily said she is very vocal about when she is upset with student-athletes on the team but she also said Mary Carol sometimes helped her put team problems into perspective.
“With your own children, they can help you to see what’s going on in those other kids’ lives and why they are not performing to the level they’re supposed to or why they have an attitude that day,” Emily said. “Sometimes my girls can sort of talk through it with me and they can help me understand why little Johnny is acting like a toot one day; maybe he had a rough weekend.
“I’m the type of mom who if I think it, I say it, and I do that a lot as a coach as well. I try to make the kids understand where I’m coming from.”
However, Emily did know when to take off her coaching hat at home — unless of course, the girls were practicing at home.
“She’s a teacher too but she’s always a momma,” Mary Carol said. “Those are two different people, and when she is at home, she is a momma. If we’re practicing shooting disc out in the yard, she’ll work on that with me, but if we’re at home eating supper, she becomes Mom. She’s a momma at home and at heart.”
But because Emily has such high expectations of her kids, she did admit she thinks maybe she pushed Mary Carol too hard at home.
“I think she’s enjoying this summer because she doesn’t have Momma as a coach anymore,” Emily said. “I would expect her on a Saturday to be out there with the shot and the disc practicing in the pasture, and I didn’t expect that from other kids. She was happy to stay hidden from Momma on the weekends.”
One big benefit for Mary Carol having her mother be the coach is she took on a leadership role and that forced her to come out of her shell a bit more. Although Emily was actually the mother, she said Mary Carol was more like the mother of the team.
“She took on that mothering personality, trying to take care of everybody on the team,” Emily said. “A lot of that is just because it’s her personality, but I hope that I didn’t put too much of a burden on her in terms of the mothering.”
Mary Carol certainly didn’t look at it as a burden.
“That actually feels like an honor to be able to hear her say that,” Mary Carol said. “It’s an honor almost all the kids come to me and ask, ‘When is practice?’ or whatever. With track, the runners go on the track but at the same time, you have shot and discus going on; you’re there by yourself and you gotta remember what Coach said. I was always with those people and they came to me with questions because my mom had to be with the runners.”
Mary Carol is still unsure whether she wants to pursue a track and field career at the next level. Because she started throwing only two years ago, she doesn’t feel like she’ll be ready for it right away. But she plans to attend Jacksonville State University and be a member of the marching band.
However, she’s not ready to rule out track and field just yet and said she might give it another shot after her first year of college.