The Motivated Teacher

Michael Todd Clinton

Thanks Coach!

I really never know where I am going to get my MOTIVATION or inspiration to write my blogs, and honestly, I still can’t believe I’m writing and don’t have to. I started, like I said, before as a coping skill and now I actually enjoy it, kinda like running. I never thought I would run for no reason but, I do that too, weird. Anyway, I sent my blog site to a few of the teachers I work with on Friday, thinking since it was a snow day they would need a little boring reading in between them trying to figure out how to win fantasy football next year:) Little did I know my go-to proofreader would post it on facebook. Dang COACH! No for real I am glad he did; that is my goal to spread the word and to MOTIVATE myself and others now that I am facebook famous, just kidding! Yesterday, I got a text from one of the most influential people in my life, my high school COACH! It inspired me to write this.

What is a coach?  A google search says a high school coach is this: high school coaches MOTIVATE, instruct, and coach high school athletes. Their primary responsibility is improving the performance of student athletes. (I love that it added student in front of athletes.) That is important to me as a teacher/coach. (Student Athlete)

I feel google does not understand the half of it. I didn’t either and I know I still have a lot of learning to do about coaching. A few years ago when I started coaching jr. high golf and baseball, I know you are giggling, but it is more work than you think. I thought coaching was going to be the chance to show kids how to play games I loved growing up. Little did I know, that is just the cover on the book of coaching.  I can’t imagine being a high school coach. I am sure that there is even more paperwork and hidden tasks that no one but a coach understands.

Why I am writing this is I feel coaches are so underappreciated at all levels. From pee-wee to the pros. Coaches are the backbone of the team, and the good ones play such an important role in their player’s lives if parents will let them. What I am trying to say is that parents, players, and fans need to be saying is THANKS COACH! for all that you do.

It amazes me to see the passion that great coaches exhibit. The great ones not only have a passion for the sport they are coaching, but I am also amazed by their understanding of how far to push their players and get every ounce of talent out of them. Recently, I got to go to a high school basketball game where I watched a team that had a coach who has been coaching over 38 years. His enthusiasm is unbelievable and watching him line up the chairs before the game and make sure the water bottles were full just made me smile and shake my head. What made me frown was the crowd. All I heard through the game was fans thinking they are officials, and them screaming at the players to do this and do that. This is not what high school sports or any sport should be about. It should be about the players and them learning lessons that will teach them discipline, dedication, and hard work for later in life. Like I stated in other blogs I believe in teaching coping skills, but the players should not have to cope for their parents behaviors in the middle of a game. (Don’t be Shooter from the Hoosiers unless the coach ask you to be) Let the COACH, do the yelling and COACHING. Seriously, that’s their job. Even if their not good at their job, I promise it does not help the kids by you yelling at them from the crowd or the officials for that matter.

After the game that night,  I talked to my-father-in-law about what makes a coach want to deal with all that yelling and complaining for 38 years. He simply said he loves the kids, and he knows they will be better girls for getting to play basketball for him. My wife played for him, and her family loves, trust, and respect this coach much like I respected my high school basketball coach.

Oh yeah, my high school basketball coach was the one I got the text message from after he read my post on facebook. In an abbreviated version, the text said, “ I am proud of you ”  which is something you always love to hear from the people you admire the most (my mom was great at saying this too, even when she probably wasn’t proud of me).  In all honesty, I should be the one proud of him I am definitely thankful for having him in my life. Without him I can only imagine the trouble I would have gotten into going through school. Like I told him, I know that I chose the wrong path more than once in high school, but somehow he was always able to get us back on the road we needed to be on. Our team talks and parking lot running will be with me forever. It’s funny as a kid you wonder why you are doing these things but as a man I know. This being said don’t give up on your players’ COACHES.

I know that all coaches, are not like the coaches I mentioned above. Some coaches kill me; they seem like they are just trying to re-live their glory days. What they need to realize is that they need to help their players live their glory days like the coaches above have done for so many years. Coaches are not there to be seen, but they are there to teach and COACH their players lessons that will stay with them the rest of their lives. Even if it means doing all the paperwork and dealing with all the not so fun stuff, like angry parents, discipline, grades, etc. Thanks COACH!

In closing I want to say,  “Thanks Coach!” not just to my coaches because I have had some awesome ones, assistants too, but  “Thanks Coach!”  to any and all coaches that may read this. Especially those that volunteer their time after a long day at work, their time away from their families, and their time to make their players better people than they would have been without YOU!

If you read this please tell a COACH that has inspired you, MOTIVATED you, or made you a better person “Thanks Coach!”
Please Share with your COACH. I am tagging mine now.

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