Archive for “Work Ethic” Tag

Kids Coaching: Memories – Part 2

 

 

Kids Coaching is so Rewarding

Robert was a born leader.

 

Not the most gifted athlete in the world.

 

Not the strongest kid in the weight room.

 

And certainly not the fastest guy on the field.

 

But he was captain of the #2 ranked high school football team
in Illinois and a three year varsity starter for one reason….

 

He elevated the work ethic of his teammates.

 

And he did so without words.

 

Robert just flat-out worked hard.

 

Every play.

 

Every down.

 

Every moment in practice and games.

 

And when you’re around a guy like that, it’s hard not to look in the
mirror and want to work harder yourself.

 

I’ll go on record as saying that the two consecutive trips we made as
a team to the state quarterfinals were due in large part to Robert.

 

Four starting offensive players went on to Division One football
scholarships after there senior seasons.

 

Five more from the defensive side of the ball.

 

Truly, this team was talent personified.

 

But Robert, the undersized and under skilled offensive lineman was
the real cog and catalyst.

 

Now, you may be assuming that what I learned from him was something
to do within the realm of "leadership" or "work ethic".

 

But that’s not what Robert taught me.

 

What he did offer as a valuable lesson however, was the power of
knowing what NOT to say.

 

Team Captain.

 

Undeniable Leader.

 

"The Man" in the locker room and on the field.

 

And barely a word ever came out of him.

 

It’s the pat on the back he would give his running back for making a
great cut and springing a 40 yard run.

 

The look he would give another offensive lineman if he didn’t feel as
though their block was as aggressive or complete as it could have been
on the last play.

 

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Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One

 

 

Kids Coaching teaches us

Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
8th grader.

 

13 years old and quite tall for his age, I knew the second I saw
him that I was going to like the kid.

 

He never said much and certainly had a great deal of difficulty
learning how to perform even the most basic of exercises, but
he was steadfast in his work ethic and always brought a good
energy to the training center.

 

I learned a lot over the years from kids coaching and from Blake.

 

Mostly, how to enjoy and appreciate the very small things in life.

 

His last training session with me was on a humid and sweaty
Chicago-style, August afternoon.

 

Walking into my facility, I noticed an unfamiliar bounce to his
stride and a larger than usual, ear-to-ear grin on his face.

 

"What’s goin’ on, my friend" I greeted him.

 

"Why such a perky smile?"

 

"Tomorrow, football tryouts start and I’m geared up!" he replied.

 

I tend to get tunnel vision as the summer months dwindle down.
I have dozens upon dozens of college athletes returning to play
fall sports and even more high school kids phasing up for
football and basketball.

 

"That’s right! What position you trying out for? You expecting
a ton of playing time, I assume?" I asked.

 

"Don’t care to be honest. Just looking forward to strapping on a
helmet and being part of a team"

 

His answer struck something in me that I didn’t quite understand at
the time, but would be overwhelmed with a few short months later.

 

Fast forward.

 

Late September, same year.

 

Blake was attending the same high school that I served as Head
Strength Coach at.

 

Great bunch of kids all around.

 

Dedicated, hard working and a Coaching Staff that truly valued the
kid inside the athlete.

 

And I’ll be honest…

 

I ADORED Friday nights.

 

I got to patrol the sidelines.

 

Home games especially.

 

There is just something magical about high school football in the cool
autumn air.

 

So there I was.

 

Patrolling as usual.

 

Laid back as I am in my daily life, I get ultra-serious and intense when
it comes to competition.

 

My own or my athletes.

 

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