This is a question I had when I started coaching a high school football team. I took the kids to see a life coach for the first time. He didn’t seem like a person you’d want near a child. He made no eye contact and made no comment on them. He was quiet and reserved. I had to ask him a question. I asked him, why is he there? Who is he? And he looked at me and he gave a very cold, unfeeling, calculating and unguarded answer…I don’t know about your children being “lucky” in the face of this kind of treatment. But I have to ask…. What is there to gain by hurting an innocent kid… or an innocent teammate (the coach)… by leaving a kid for a little bit in a cold sweat and then not talking to him about it?
I’ve always thought of coaching as a great deal of work. It seems so simple. Put a good teacher in the kids and watch them grow. Put a great team on the field and watch them triumph over adversity and hardship. A few things have changed my mind. One is that coaching is an incredibly high calling. It’s a calling I could live without. It’s also a calling which requires great discipline and commitment to each child I coach. It’s a calling which makes you realize that the “Cure” you see on TV is just a part of what you actually have to do to serve your team and your children. It’s a calling which makes you see the need for “better” coaching and it makes you see that the school and its students would not become better had you not coached these children. And it’s a calling that also gives you all of the responsibility you need to have when it comes to preparing them for life. The most important thing to me when a youngster or team member, young or old, is involved in any sort of difficult situation, the first thing I think of is my own kid. A team member’s kid, his coach’s kid, his teacher’s kid, his mom’s kid — I think the first thought for me should not be what I think, but what his kid thinks. So if a child feels or experiences something that could be harmful to him or her, my job should have absolutely no affect on the child or team member. But if that child thinks that what’s happening is a problem or is hurting a kid that he knows, I tell that child that it will probably