I am a husband, father, son, brother, uncle and friend. I believe in sharing my talents and experiences by giving back to the community by giving my time to coaching, church and especially to the disability community. I truly believe that all men and women are created equally.
The passing of John Wooden this weekend brought out the many stories of what made him a successful basketball coach. Sure he had all of his championships at UCLA, but it is the stories that were told by past players that really struck me.
Growing up in Indiana, you couldn't help but hear about John Wooden. The only thing that hurts is that he attended Purdue, I am an Indiana University graduate.
John Wooden is what I consider what a college coach is supposed to be. An individual who guided young men and taught them what it takes to be successful. Granted, he was a coach a while ago, long before the TV dollars of today. But he was also a coach in Los Angeles during some of the most turbulant times in our countries history.
Coach Wooden had some great quotes, quotes that are still applicable today http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/j/john_wooden.html
2 of my favorite quotes are: " Success is peace of mind which is a direct result of self satisfaction in knowing you made the effort to do the best of which you are capable" and "Be more concerned with your character than your reputation because character is what you really are, while your reputation is merely what others think you are".
I used to be a coach who winning was the reason why you did it. In some cases, I thought of losing as a failure. Since Tyler was born, I have come to realize that youth sports is probably a very fragile time. A bad coaching experience can cause a child to quit sports all together. Having watched Tyler participate in Special Olympics and Challanger baseball, you come to realize that winning means nothing.
The opportunity to compete is what is important. The opportunity be be with peers is what is important. I think that I am now a better coach with my other 2 kids becuase of Tyler. I am more patient with the kids. I try to let them know, that once they are between the lines, then they need to concentrate on the task at hand. I try hard to encourage the kids, even when they make an error or strike out, They already feel bad, why keep beating a dead horse.
Don't get me wrong, winning is a better feeling than losing. But coaching 8, 9, and 10 year old kids is a real joy. I get a kick out of coaches who stress winning at this age. This is an age where kids should be learning fundamentals and sportsmanship, not stressed out because they make an error or strike out.
As John Wooden said "Success is never final, failure is never fatal. It's courage that counts"