For All The Coaches

Last week I wrote a short piece on Lou Holtz and received a good deal of positive responses from many coaches. One of the best parts of doing what I do is that I get to interact with so many coaches at all levels. I am always amazed at their passion and love for the game and helping young players. I too have been lucky to be an assistant coach with a team at the U18 level this year. It has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life. I have come to understand what makes this passion come out in people. So I put this together for anyone out there coaching at any level. Enjoy! 

The word derives from the horse drawn carriages that were developed in the 15th century. The vehicles were originally used to transport royalty but in time they also carried mail, goods and common passengers. A ‘Coach’ remains something or someone that carries a valued person from where they are to where the want to be…….
So if you had a ‘Coach’, you knew you would have something (or someone) that would help you end up at your destination.
In other cultures and languages, coaches are known by many other names and titles.
In Japan, a ‘Sensei’ is ‘one who has gone down a path.’ In martial arts it is the designation for ‘Master’.
In Sand script, a ‘Guru’ is ‘one with great knowledge and wisdom.’ Gu means darkness and ru means light. A Guru takes someone from darkness into the light.
In Tibet, a ‘Lama’ is ‘one with spirituality and authority to teach.’ In Tibetan Buddhism, a Dalai Lama is the highest ranking teacher.
In Italy, a ‘Maestro’ is a ‘master teacher of music’. It is short for Maestro Dicapella meaning ‘master of the chapel’.
In France, a ‘Tutor’ is a ‘private teacher’. The term dates back to the 14th century and refers to ‘one who serves as a watchman’.
In England, a ‘Guide’ is ‘one who knows and shows the way’. It denotes the ability to see and point out the better course.
In Greece, a ‘Mentor’ is a ‘wise and trusted adviser’.
All of these words describe the same role and define what a coach is. ‘One who goes before and shows the way’. No matter how you describe them, coaches make a difference in people’s lives. They help them grow. They improve their potential and they increase their productivity. Coaches are essential to help people affect positive change. Players would never maximize their potential without coaching. They may be good, maybe even better than everyone else, but without outside input, they will never be as good as they could be. Everyone performs better when someone else is watching, evaluating and providing positive feedback. Self-evaluation is important but the evaluation from someone else is essential.
There was a great piece on 60 minutes a while ago featuring Jim Whittaker, the first American to climb Mount Everest. It is pretty revealing to hear his answer when asked what his greatest accomplishment was. His answer was this:
“I have helped more people get to the top of Mount Everest than any other person. Taking people to the top who could never get there without my assistance is my greatest accomplishment.”
Guides have died attempting to help other people climb Everest…..and he was asked, “Would they have died if they were not taking others with them to the top?”
“No,” he answered, “but the purpose of the guide is to take people to the top.” 
Then the interviewer asked, “Why do mountain climbers risk their lives to climb mountains?” 
He responded, “It is obvious that you have never been to the top of the mountain…….” 
That about sums it up……
Thanks to everyone helping young players climb their mountain.
Of course I have to include a little coaching gold nugget from the great coach Jimmy Dugan. 🙂