Kids Coaching teaches us
Blake came to me as a quiet, shy and terribly uncoordinated
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.
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
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.