Archive for “Tunnel Vision” Tag

Kids Coaching: My Memories – Part One

 

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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.

 

(more…)

Memories With Young Athletes

 

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This is the first Christmas that I won’t be able to be with my family.

 

34 Holidays, every one of them spent with my Mom, Dad and two brothers.

 

I’d be lying if I told you I wasn’t sad.

 

Since moving to the United States in 2000, I’ve only managed to see my
family on average twice per year.

 

This year, I haven’t seen them at all.

 

It’s very easy to get tunnel vision with work.

 

We want so badly to succeed, that we can easily fall into the game of
‘work first, everything else second’.

 

That’s happened to me a little bit these past 12 months and I’m 100%
determined to make sure it never happens again.

 

My Dad turns 80 this coming January and is in wonderful health.

 

My Irish Mom is feisty as ever.

 

My two older brothers are both happy and full of the same vigor that made
them my idols growing up.

 

I miss them all very much.

 

I’ll be heading up to Toronto in early January to see everyone and spend some
moments that I will cherish for a long time.

 

My Dad will wake up at the crack of dawn and enjoy his breakfast cereal while
standing at the window to the back deck looking out at the birds (his favorite
past time).

 

And I’ll be there to meet him every morning.

 

My Mom will sit on the couch every day at lunch and read the day’s newspaper.

 

And I’ll be sitting beside her every afternoon.

 

Sometimes life isn’t about the big moments.

 

It’s about the small ones that you can savor.

 

Some of your young athletes will go onto to amazing college or even professional
careers.

 

But most will use your training as a conduit to become better, more self-assured
people.

 

Every moment you spend with your young athletes should be worthy of savoring.

 

Moments in time that they can look back upon and smile.

 

The little things in life are the most beautiful and precious.

 

Be sure to create and savor as many as you can this Holiday Season.

 

On behalf of the IYCA, I want to take this opportunity to wish you a safe and
wonderful Holiday.

 

Embrace the small and insignificant things….

 

…. They’re all that really matter.

 

Brian