As a lifelong New Englander, I’ve been a diehard Boston Red Sox fan for as long as I have been watching baseball. It pretty much comes with the territory here. As expected, most of my friends are as well. We’ve all spent the last few weeks following the Sox and their fantastic postseason run, and connecting with each other via text, email, etc.
That story, on its own, is not unique. What makes the story interesting, and relevant, is that none of us were able to watch entire games – we were all in our respective offices across the country. See, almost all of my lifelong friends are coaches. These are not men I’ve met through the profession. These are the guys I grew up with, played high school sports with, and now talk shop with.
I grew up in a small town in Southern Maine. My high school has less than 1,000 students. As I sit here typing, I know of at least a dozen of us who are currently coaching. From high school sports, to Division III assistants, all the way up to head coaches of nationally ranked FBS programs. We’ve even got a world-renowned strength coach in our ranks.
In my opinion, the fact that THIS MANY kids grew up in one small place and all entered the coaching world is amazing. I don’t see how there could be any other reason beyond the coaching we received as young athletes. Obviously, everyone reading this blog loves football. You’ve probably loved it all of your life. However, a lot of kids who love football grow up to be lawyers. Therefore, something beyond your love of the game inspired you to enter this profession – it certainly wasn’t for the money or short hours! In my case, it was someONE, more than someTHING.
My high school football coach has been at his post for 35 years. Last week, he wrapped up an undefeated regular season. All these years later, he is still finding ways to be successful. That alone is enough to qualify as a great coach. But he is more than a winner. He molds young men, and often inspires them to follow in his footsteps. Imitation is the most sincere form of flattery, right?
I played my senior season of high school football 15 years ago. I still swap emails with my coach every few weeks, and I always stop into his office when I’m on the road. If there is a particular coach who inspired you to start down this path, give him a call. You’ll be glad you did. After all, without him, would you be here?
I love hearing from coaches who enjoy my blog, want to talk shop, etc. I can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.