I had an opportunity to travel to Nashville, TN yesterday. More on that tomorrow. Here is something a coach from Nashville recently went through ...
Here is an e-mail that I sent to my parents two weeks ago after a tough loss . It was a humbling experience that showed me my own weakness and that made me realize my own internal struggles with an old school coaching background vs. a virtuous style of coaching. I am far from where I need to be but it has given me (luckily) somewhat of a filter that thank goodness kicked in at the last minute.
What I wanted my parents to know from this is that I can get as keyed up as anyone when it comes to wanting to win, or perceived bad calls, bad coaching etc. and that’s why Sports Leader is every bit needed for us Coaches and us parents as much as it’s for our children if for no other reason than to be a filter. See below.
I want to share a quick thought about this past weekend’s game as it was intense. I am a believer (or at least am working hard at believing) that when the final buzzer sounds in a game that chapter is done. Move on I tell myself. It really is such a small part of our lives and the players lives and is very insignificant in the scheme of things- and hopefully we are teaching our children that.
This weekend I learned a little about myself and my own struggle with the clash of doing the right thing, competition and competing, and tolerating what I perceive as not doing the right thing.
We all know how the game went and towards the end we emptied the bench of all our 5th graders. Without getting into it, after that, the touchdown was scored and what I perceived as an onside kick after that sent me through the roof. In fact I almost shot out of my shoes and yelled (facing the field) “are you kidding me…..an onside kick!!!!!!!!!!! (we were down by 2 touch downs with seconds left on the clock) With every intention of having the other coaches hear it. Directly after that I heard one of the coaches from the other team say something and I just looked over at him with that look that projects the bad thoughts that are going through your head.
I caught myself right then and the internal battle began. Sports Leader and the virtues that we talk to our players about was flooding my mind as well as a disgust for the way I perceived the other coaching staff handled things.
The game ends and we go to shake hands. As you know we always invite the other team to say a prayer together at the end of the game. It’s a way to let all the boys know that for an hour or so we may battle but when that horn sounds in the eyes of God we are all brothers, Catholic Brothers in our Catholic Family we call the Diocese. Well, this time the thought of not asking him to pray with us is rushing through my head a mile a minute and is really dominating my thoughts. (what a weak mind).
Thank goodness I got to high five their players first as I realized this isn’t about me or football, it’s about these kids and what we are teaching them. It’s about being an example for these boys to help them grow up to be virtuous men and to be able to handle adversity and for me it’s about my own journey to be a virtuous man and the struggles to do that.
We prayed with the St. Es players and coaches and I was grateful we did. I still had a bitter taste in my mouth for most of the day but all was good after generous parents like Mr. Crist and a few friends came over later that night to console me by playing cards and filling my pockets with their chips………………but I digress, that’s another story for another day.
What I learned is this tool called Sports Leader that helps us teach virtuous attitude and behavior to our players is as much for us coaches (and parents) as it is for our kids. May we all be blessed with the ability to practice what we preach.
Let’s have a great week, at home, in school and on the playing field. We will be taking it to CKS this weekend!!
Camp Marymount, Inc