I have been fortunate enough to coach this great game of football for 24 years at many different levels. Although there are many, many rewarding things about being a coach I will try to limit it to eight for the sake of brevity. In no particular order, here are my 8.
1. The ability to not only create friendships but build lifelong relationships with former players. Nothing is better than to see former players go on to successful and productive careers and be able to remain a part of their lives.
2. Using the game of football to help teach young men how to become better friends, fathers, bosses, and sons.
3. Football, in my mind, is the greatest team sport out there. No sport mirrors life like the game of football. To be successful you must learn to work with others, be accountable, deal with setbacks, and find solutions for issues that come up. In this day and age of unaccountability, football forces young men to understand that if they want to be successful, they must not only be accountable, they must learn to work within a team.
There aren’t many things in life that allow an individual to remain an individual and work alone and be successful.
4. Pushing a young man beyond what he thought he was capable of, believing in that young man to achieve the goals set before him, and seeing the excitement in their faces when they accomplish those goals.
5. Taking a group of young men with differing backgrounds, personalities, hometowns, and beliefs and helping to mold them into one cohesive team. Helping them to understand that the whole is better than the sums of the parts and team successes are far more gratifying than individual successes because team successes require more work.
6. When the group of individuals you are coaching become one team, willing and wanting to play for each other over themselves.
7. In the 24 years that I have coached, I can honestly say that I have never truly worked a day in my life. It sounds corny to hear people say that but it the honest truth! I have looked forward to waking up every day to get to work and get started on the day’s activities.
8. Seeing those same young men that have come from such diverse back grounds stay in contact with each other and become great friends. Knowing that had it not been for the game of football their lives probably would have never crossed paths. In twenty years’ no one is going to remember the scores of the games, they are going to remember the friendships they made while playing this great game of football.
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