The Value of Coaches

I read a great article today called “Coaches Are Undervalued, But Powerful“.  Paul Chapman, the author, discusses the importance of coaches and of sports in general in the lives of young people.  If you are a coach, read it so that you can remember why you got into coaching.  If you are a parent, read it so that you realize what a profound effect that these men and women can have in the lives of your children. 

Life Shapers

During my life, I have played for coaches, worked side by side with coaches, read books by coaches, and listened to coaches speak.  I can’t tell you how many times as a teen I read Hard Knox by former NFL Head Coach Chuck Knox, but it would take at least two hands to count.  The stories in the book were good, but the lessons on loyalty, respect, and fairness were much more valuable.  Much like that book, I have learned things from many coaches that have helped me become who I am today. 

Which Coach Influenced You?

If you played sports growing up, your coach may have made you run sprints, repeat the same drills hundreds of times, and made you accountable for your actions.  He or she may not have always been easy on you, but eventually you begin to understand why they weren’t.  Eventually you begin to respect the person that you call “Coach”.  Go ask an adult to name people that influenced their lives.  They may list parents, teachers, or various other people who they look up to. Odds are that if they played sports as a kid, somewhere on list is someone called “Coach”.

I Still Call Them “Coach”

I remember reading about one of John Wooden’s former players.  After the player graduated, he asked his former coach if he could call him “John” instead of referring to him as “Coach Wooden”.  The coach said that it was ok.  This lasted about 10 minutes at which point the player realized that simply calling him “John” just didn’t seem right.  Even as a grown man, he would always be “Coach Wooden” to him.  I view that as an incredible compliment to how much that man respected his Coach.  Fortunately for me, I’ve had a few people in my life that I still call “Coach” too.

P.S.  If you want to read a great book about the value of coaches, I recommend Season of Life by Jeffrey Marx.

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