The Press Box: Coaches are Special
With spring sports coming to an end, athletes, parents, fans and coaches themselves need to examine the season and determine its success or failure.
I am one who loves to win. Nothing feels better to me than to be on the winning team or making the right play. And, as an athlete or coach nothing should make you want to work harder and perform better than being on the losing end.
However, as we all know, you will never win them all. There will always be a time of losing and a time of winning. In the case of losing, athletes must learn to cope with it. That is part of the process of becoming a good athlete.
Most athletes are only as good as they are taught to be. That’s where coaches come in. Coaches have more responsibility than most people can imagine. The role of the coach is not just coaching. One of the main responsibilities is to assist athletes in developing to their full potential.
It’s not an easy job, it involves conditioning, motivation, analyzing performance, instructing, skill training, encouragement and guidance in life lessons. So you see the coaches role is many and varied. Athletes should look to their coach as a mentor, a friend, an instructor, a disiplinary, a facilitator, and most importantly a role model.
Being around the local area for close to 70 years, I have seen coaches come and go. I have seen good ones and bad ones. Some who were motivators and others who couldn’t generate excitement or enthusiasm out of the most highly motivated athletes.
Just like athletes, coaches are not all the same. They use different techniques, strategies, training methods, and ways of communication to get the best from their athletes.
Therefore, you can see that it is a very difficult job, that requires a very special person. One who leaves an impression on his or her athletes that helps carry them through the challenges of life in the hardest of times.
Just from talking to current and ex-athletes, I believe we have, and certainly in the past had coaches who are and were great motivators. Coaches who earned the respect of every player who played for them throughout the years.
Coaches are in the right job to help athletes reach their potentials, regardless of how they do it. Sometimes it takes hard knocks and tough love to get the best out of an athlete and other times it might just be a pat on the back that does the trick. However, you can bet no one knows better than the coach what it takes.
Coaches should be equipped to deliver on these expectations and unlock the athletes’ potential regardless of what someone else may think. Through experience and talking with others throughout the years, I have come to the conclusion that the title “Coach” means many things. It means different things to different people, but for the most part it means someone who you respect, love and appreciate. Someone you needed in your life to help you get through your school days.
That is the kind of coaches we still have today. These are men and women who are dedicated to helping the youth in our schools become better athletes and future leaders.
Respect is what a coach deserves and should demand. I have the highest regard for coaches, I respect them and appreciate them. Without them many of our outstanding citizens may not exist. I have seen coaches take kids who looked sure to fail and turn them around by giving them opportunities they would never have had.
We have kids going to the state track meet in Charleston, tomorrow. Isn’t it great to know that they have that chance to compete on the highest level. We had teams competing in the state baseball and softball regionals last week, something that will never be forgotton by the athletes. They will always remember it and their coaches.
I still remember my coaches from little league through high school, and I’m proud to say I had some of the best experiences of my life because of them. So if you played for a great coach who helped you along the way, remember they did their job the best that they could and chances are they still remember you today.
As far as I am concerned they only have one name and it’s “Coach”.