I had thought about blogging a seasonal cliche a couple weeks ago but decided against it. I was going to use the Thanksgiving/Christmas holiday season to jump on the “Be Appreciative” bandwagon to remind kids and parents to thank their coaches for the work they do. Ultimately,I decided against it because I didn’t want the message to get lost in a sea of other similar messages. However…
Last week, a friend and colleague passed away at 52 years old after a very brief fight with cancer. Aside from a cold, stark reminder of my own mortality, there was one conversation with fellow AD’s after the funeral service that stuck in my mind as we discussed our friend’s life.
Like many AD’s, he spent most of his professional life before becoming an athletic administrator as a coach in various roles. As my colleagues and I talked about his coaching jobs that eventually led him to his AD job, one of our group made the observation that he had sacrificed a lot of his time being dedicated to a profession where people didn’t appreciate him.
To be fair, the comment wasn’t made entirely in truth. Those of us involved in education know that we have the support of many people; however, we don’t often hear from those people. The majority of the calls, emails, and comments teachers and coaches get are negative in nature – whether criticisms, suggestions, or just basic disagreement.
I often joke about turning the tables someday and going down to “Your Business Here” to follow around a manager shouting suggestions at him/her all day long. We get into teaching and coaching knowing that we’ll be working with other people’s kids and are subject to parental opinions, but the amount and volume of criticism from time to time can be daunting. The real problem isn’t that we receive criticism, though, it’s that we often only receive criticism.
Teachers and coaches know that our work is important, and we know that we are valued by many…we just don’t hear it very often. Since we’re just starting our winter seasons right now, I feel like this is the perfect time for students and parents alike to thank their coaches for the time, effort, and dedication spent on the growth and maturity of kids.
Thank a coach for spending afternoons and nights trying to teach your son or daughter the right way to live life.
Thank a coach for voluntarily working in a profession that operates underneath a spotlight despite not earning a decent wage.
Thank a coach for sacrificing time with his/her own family to spend time with yours.
Thank a coach for taking on the stress of the balancing act that comes with doing the right thing while trying to put a competitive, successful team on display.
Thank a coach for all the extra little things he/she does so your son/daughter can be successful.
Most of all, just thank a coach.
As always, I welcome your comments, suggestions, and feedback. Click on the links to Facebook, Twitter, or email to contact me!