This weekend I had the opportunity to watch my nephew play football for the first time. He is 10 and it’s fun to watch him learn a new sport and become part of a team….also a great way to entertain my kids on a Saturday afternoon. I loved watching him, but what I enjoyed more was observing the coach.
He was wearing a Navy hat so he got my attention early. But as the team of 10-year-old, 105 pounders went from watching the 9-year-old, 90 pounders who were playing before them, I heard the coach sound off: “OK men, single-file line. Are you ready to play?” They all responded with a resounding, “Yes, Sir!”. Ahhh, discipline! I love it. I turned to my brother in law and asked about the coach with the Navy hat. “Yeah, he’s been coaching this group for 27 years!”
27 years!?! Assuming these kids play a 10 week season, that is 270 Saturdays this coach has poured into young boys, teaching them the sport and more importantly the discipline, teamwork, work ethic, and all of the other positive attributes we learn through sport. Talk about love of the game!
Last week was National Coaches Day. Anyone who knows me knows my love of youth sports and the power of the coaching platform. So, I want to take you back to a day and age before ESPN and social media. Back when we were more focused on we and not so much on me. Back when John Wooden was focused on building men, not basketball players. I think his “9 Promises That Can Bring Happiness” are as applicable today (maybe more so) as they were back then.
- Promise yourself that you will talk health, happiness, and prosperity as often as possible.
- Promise yourself to make all your friends know there is something in them that is special and that you value.
- Promise to think only of the best, to work only for the best, and to expect only the best in yourself and others.
- Promise to be just as enthusiastic about the success of others as you are about your own.
- Promise yourself to be so strong that nothing can disturb your peace of mind.
- Promise to forget the mistakes of the past and press on to greater achievements in the future.
- Promise to wear a cheerful appearance at all times and give every person you meet a smile.
- Promise to give so much time to improving yourself that you have no time to criticize others.
- Promise to be too large for worry, too noble for anger, too strong for fear, and too happy to permit trouble to press on you.
We all have a role in our lives as “coach” – whatever game you are in parenting or business, education or engineering, politics, or public service.
Remember, there is a youth watching all of us. They are our future, let’s be Bridge Builders for them.
Oh, and about that coach with the Navy hat? Go Army!
BJ Kraemer, President