This archived article was written by: David Osborne Jr.
Anyone of us that has ever participated in an organized sports team has had the experience of hopefully having a coach that has made a difference in our lives. If you aren’t much of a “sports nut,” then it may not have been a coach in the sense of being on a team, but perhaps a teacher or mentor. According to the dictionary a coach, is defined as, “a person that trains an athlete or a team of athletes.”
In the last couple of weeks, I have talked about how we need to seize moments in our lives and become who we are supposed to be, but we do need to be taught how to do that. Playing sports throughout my youth and teenage years, I remember three coaches that had different impacts on me, my life, and the person that I have become. These three coaches had different ways of doing things, and all of their ideas helped me become better.
The first coach that had an impact on my life was the baseball coach of my little league baseball team from the time that I was 5 until I was 9 or 10. His name was Kim Fuller, and the lessons that he taught me throughout those baseball seasons have taught me a lot about life, which is probably why on my desk I have a baseball in a case that he signed. The lesson that I learned from him was that you have to keep swinging no matter how much of a slump you are in. I remember him telling me that as I was getting ready to bat one time in a game. I kept repeating that in my mind as I was standing in the batter’s box. The sad thing is that I struck out during that at bat, but it wasn’t because I just watched the ball go across the plate. Eventually the slumped ended and I did get a hit, but knowing that I need to keep swinging and trying has stuck with me ever since.
The next coach that had an impact on me was a man by the name of John Spence. Coach Spence coached my little league basketball team from the time I was 10 until I turned 15. Spence taught me lots of lessons about basketball and life in general. The lesson I apply most often came when I fouled out of a game and Spence gave me a look of disappointment as I walked down to the end of the bench to be alone. After a couple of minutes, Spence came to the end of the bench to put his arm around me and tell me that I played hard and things just happened to not go my way. I don’t remember whether we won the game or not and it really doesn’t matter. I learned that somebody will always care about me no matter what happens.
The final coach that has had an impact on me, is much more to me than a coach, it is my father. My dad and I have always enjoyed spending our Saturday afternoons with each other playing a round of golf. Of the many lessons that I was taught, most had nothing to do with golf, but rather how to live a good life and become the person that I was capable of being. He would share with me experiences of how I would be able to become anything that I wanted to be as long as I looked at my goals and worked as hard as possible. He also taught me to be respectful and be a gentleman. Those lessons have served me well, allowing me to accomplish the things that I have always wanted to and show respect to those around me to help me become accomplish more.
Sure there are always going to be times that we don’t necessarily like the coaches we have, but each can still teach us lessons and help us become better people. The point is to remember that when we do have a coach we don’t necessarily like, that we can still learn from them and remember what our old coaches would have us do. I hope that all of you had wonderful coaches, and each taught you lessons that have stuck with you throughout your life. Since it is the season of being grateful, make sure your coaches know you are thankful for them and that they have made a difference in your life. Remember that coaches are there to help you and create you into the person that they can see inside you. This is why coaches and their lessons have been on the tee.