Americana- Football, Family, Friends and Faith


There are three things that have been a part of my family tradition for what seems forever and a day. Football, Family, Friends and faith are all part of my American dream. For millions of Americans these four F’s have become part of what we know as the annual right of passage from early September to the Middle of February. For many of us that have grown up playing the best game on earth (American Football), yes the one that you hit and tackle people while playing. It all begins with kids playing in the backyard, in the road, a field or on a hill at a friday night varsity home game. We all began out football career by tackling, rolling down hills, getting smashed up, hit, beat on and ran over by our older siblings, cousins and best buds.

Then we start playing little league, pee wee or pop warner depending on where you live and what it is called. That is when it starts getting more serious and we have to learn to be the best we can, be tough, have faith in ourselves and learn a system of depending on family and friends. Then we go to middle school and it gets even more serious. Throw in some AAU travel football and it is feeling for real then. Teamwork, family, friends and faith become part of who we are as we battle with each other and for one another. We represent our communities, families, schools, teams and neighborhoods the best we can.

Then high school comes along and many of those that played younger begin to drop like flies. Suddenly it is more than a game. It has become something bigger than the individual and is truly a family and team sport. Families line up outside and pay the gate fee to support their kids and neighbors. They tailgate eating good food enjoying family and friends before the big game. The players, coaches and fans fellowship on preparation for the big battle about to take place. Football teaches us how to win, lose, battle, fight, overcome, endure and be a better person. It teaches us to have faith in ourselves, family, community, friends and God.

Then some of us work hard enough to play on Saturdays in front of big crowds at various levels. Some in big time arenas in front of 100,000 people at the highest level. We see the blessing in that and how fortunate we were to be able to do that playing a game that we simply love. Others play small ball in front of a few hundred people in the stands. Either way, the game is played hard and means just as much regardless of the size of the stadium or arena. Regardless of the level of ball it is about football, family, friendships and faith. I developed all of these playing ball from pee wee to mid level college football.

I have stood on the sidelines as a player, coach and parent hearing the national anthem which still gives me the goose bumps on Friday night. I have played, coached and watched high level ball. I have played, coached and watch low level ball. All in all I have found that football, family, friends and faith are what has made me who I am today. I am a piece of Americana because of Football. God Bless football, family, friends and faith!

Football Time Again


After two years away from coaching football. I have accepted the role of Head Football coach at Thomasville Middle School. I am excited to get back into the sport as a head coach on my terms. I stood on the sidelines in 2019 after a tough playoff loss as an assistant at Thomasvile High School and decided it was time to step away for a while to see where things were going. I had been a community coach. college coach, Varsity assistant, JV Head Coach, Interim Varsity Head coach (2X) and coordinator during my football coaching career. I had a goal from the time I was in high school to become a high school head football coach but the cards never seemed to fall in the right place at the right time.

I had come to a point where the game I had played or coached since I was seven years old was no longer exciting and felt like the career had come to a close on the sidelines. I had a bad back, bad knees, was overweight and was just tired. I had coached 2-3 sports (football, wrestling and softball) a year for ten plus and was just wore out physically and mentally. I needed to get healthy, be with my family and just relax. I needed time to heal and grow as a person, husband, father, teacher and mentor. I needed me time and have enjoyed the last two years more relaxed with no seven day a week football work schedules, Sunday afternoon film sessions and an additional 30-40 hours a week of practice and game time.

I know that God is good and he leads us in the direction we need to go in life. We follow his lead by following our heart and his word.. After much thought, prayer and my family’s blessing it is time to put some more energy and time into the the game that has given so much to me and my family. To achieve our goals in life we must put time, energy, patience and hard work into it. To make it to our final goal we have to be willing to put in the work and build ourselves up in preparation for that.

I want to Thank my wife Cindy for her blessing to get back into the sport I have loved for so long. God is leading me where I need to go and I sincerely appreciate the opportunity to coach again and being sought after feels really good. It will be an honor to coach football again. I cannot wait to hear the national anthem just before the game. Watch the boys run on and off the field, compete, work hard and see what happens on game day. Look into the bleachers and see my family sitting there rooting the team on. Those are the things that make the game so special. It is football time once again for me and step in the direction I always wanted to go.

Coach B

Sports: Breaking Up Your Unplowed Ground- Bobby’s Story

Ever reach that point in life where you are not reaping the product you are desiring. Not getting the results you wanted to achieve? Many times in life we find ourselves cultivating our dreams, goals, desires and visions in a field of thorns. In the bible Gods word tells us; that we often reap what we sew. In Jeremiah 4:3; it states that we should “Plow up the hard ground of your hearts! Do not waste your good seed among thorns”. Addictions, self loathing, deceit, anger, resentment, sexual desires, self doubt, crime, hate and so many things often get in the way of what people want or desire. I am preparing for another wrestling season and as I was reviewing some notes I had my guys send me about what the wanted to accomplish this season it made me think about a wrestler I had several years back and his plight.

This young man came out as a freshman and like most typical first year kids he was learning the ropes of the sport. That involved building a base of basic moves, counters, and take downs that he could use to try and win as much as possible. He worked his tail off in practice but was just a little heavy for his class so he had to wrestle bigger, stronger and older guys. That frustrated him but he never quit, kept working and understood the value of gaining experience whether it was a win or a loss. Every second in the practice room and every second on the mat during a match made the difference and could help him close the gap. His 9th grade goal was lofty and it was to have a winning season. Well, he fell short of that goal and had a record of 6-14 overall. He finished the season with a couple of good wins and knew his one main weakness was strength and being on his feet in what wrestlers call a “neutral position”.

Along comes off season workouts and camps and “Bobby” decides he will have a winning season his 10th grade year so he kept working on moves and getting better but didn’t focus on his glaring weakness which was strength and neutral position. For those not familiar with the sport, when you are neutral you and the opponent are on your feet and both have no advantage and can score a take down. Takedowns was Bobbies weakness. He did not have the confidence to go for it and didn’t work at it because of that lack of confidence. 10th grade year comes along and now Bobby is 10 pounds heavier and moves up a weight class. Many of his opponents were once again bigger, stronger and older and his year goes against his plan. He keeps working hard and wrestling hard and gets much better. However, his failure to attack his weaknesses in the off season come back to bite him once again. Bobby finishes his 10th grade season with an improved record of 13-18 overall.

Junior season is now on the horizon and he is really frustrated so I sat him down and explained to him where he was falling short and gave him some ideas to improve in that area. If Bobby was a better neutral wrestler he probably would have been 18-13 instead of 13-18 as a 10th grader. He had spent two years getting better at everything other than his weakness of strength and neutral wrestling. Bobby had been sowing his seeds into the bushes and briar patches and was reaping a limited crop because of it. I gave him some specific workouts to do at home, took him to a great local summer camp, got him to summer football weight training and off season workouts. Now Bobby is working on his area of weakness which was his strength and feet movement. Bobby came to workouts, lifted weights, ran and went to a summer camp to learn more moves.

11th grade season comes along and Bobby grew a few inches and is now a 215 pound kid that was a skinny 160 as a 9th grader. He is in a class where the boys are big and strong and can weigh up to 220 pounds. Bobby set his goal of getting his weight down to 195 so he could wrestle in that class. As football season is coming near an end Bobby starts what I call Sunday running. That is going out on Sunday afternoon and running five to ten miles to shape, strengthen and make the body lean and ready for wrestling. Bobby has a good football season but at 5’9 215 he was limited to what he could do with that so he turned his focus on wrestling and his new goal. That new goal was not to have a winning season, but to actually make the regional and state tournament. Big goal in a tough class in our area. Bobby ran, did body weight exercises and cut out all sugary drinks.

11th grade wrestling season comes and Bobby has been on a three week running binge, doing body weight exercises and eating right and now he is a lean and mean 192 pounds at weigh in. Bobby also found time to pull his teammates and friends over to roll around in the yard or wherever they could find a place to get better. Bobby has a great 11th grade season with a winning record of 35-7. Bobby also met his main goal of placing in regions and making the state tournament. He finished 3rd in regions and 8th in states. He was disappointed by that last lost in what we call “blood rounds” in the wrestling world. Once you lose once you then have to battle all the way back to the medal rounds without losing an match. Bobby battled all the way back to the consolation semi-finals and lost in overtime 6-5 to the eventual 3rd place state finisher; Bobby like most people was highly upset and distraught over losing out. I coached him up, told him to be proud and use that feeling to inspire him going into his senior season.

Bobby did just that and he kept plowing “unplowed” ground learning new moves, technique and built his ability as a neutral wrestler to his advantage. He refused to keep going back to that infertile briar patch and instead choose to sow good seeds in fruitful producing land. Along comes 12th grade and wrestling season comes along. Bobby comes out of the gate 5-0 the first week of competition and in the process beat a real good kid from a higher division in the 220 pound bracket. Bobby now stands 6’0 tall and weighs every ounce of 220 pounds. He is strong, agile on his feet and loved to attack the other wrestler. All that work, time, patience and energy was now paying off. Fast forward to the end of the season and Bobby is on a tear with a record of 41-0 and has whipped everyone he wrestled. He had become very dominant and a great wrestler on his feet in neutral position.

Bobby won every tournament we entered, became a conference and regional champion and a 2X state qualifier. Difference is this time he was regional champ and went into the state tournament 44-0. Bobby wrestled well and worked his way through the field in route to the state title match. He was now 47-0 and sitting right at the verge of that goal he had set way back when he was a 9th grader. His opponent was a stud also with a 51-0 record and was the defending state champion. Bobby and this kid beat on each other for three rounds for a tie at 1-1 each. This kid was just as big and strong and great on his feet also. Here comes overtime and the first person to score wins. The referee blows the whistle and they go after each other. They are wore out, sweating, breathing hard but still attacking one another. Bobby now a confident take down wrestler attacks that other kid and goes for a take down and as they get close the out of bounds line the other kid counters Bobbies move and finds a way to score two points winning the match 3-1.

Bobby was heart broken but what a great year he had. He had a great career and is now part of history and did something through sowing good seed and working hard that few can accomplish. As I said above, if we sow good seeds in good ground we will reap a healthy, happy and prosperous crop in life. Those that choose to sow the same seeds over and over with addictions, poor decisions, bad behavior, crime, hate, anger, resentment will continue to get limited crops until they change over to the unplowed ground. There is so much potential in that unplowed ground just sitting there waiting to be plowed, sewn, cared for and reaped.

God Bless! Coach B!

Sports: Football Memories

Today my cousin stopped by school and gave me a present that he found at home. It was one that brought back some great memories of long ago. He brought me a football that I played with in the 5th grade and I was in the 5th grade a loooooonnnnngggggg time ago. It looked very good for a ball that was lets say 45 years old or so and still had some air in it. My cousin Greg that brought me the ball was my first football coach and he taught me lots about the sport. He was a young man and I was in elementary school and he loved football and was a really good high school player. Cousin Greg and his brother Bruce along with my two older brothers all coached me in little league. They were mentors to me all of my life and some of my biggest supporters as I grew in the sport to middle school, high school and eventually to college.

It was a very kind gesture that came from a great man that loves his family, friends and God. He could have sent me a message and I could have went by his house and picked it up. Instead, he took the time out of his day to bring it by school and deliver it to me. As he was leaving he told me he was very proud of me and what I had accomplished as a coach. That along with the old football made my day much better and brought back so many memories of practicing on that old football field with hardly any grass. MY friends and I beating on each other tackling, running, jumping, blocking, catching and just being kids. Greg and his coaching staff were my inspirations growing up. I would go over to the high school on Friday nights and watch them play. Then on Sundays at my grandmothers we would play some more and I got beat around pretty good by the older guys.

It toughened me up and made me love the game at an early age and created a love affair with football that lasted as a player, coach and fan for over 45 years. 30 of those coaching at different levels including some little league time working with those kids to give back what my cousins and brothers had given to me. Many childhood memories include playing football, sports and hanging out with our friends. I now have that football to add to a collection of many. I have a ball from every level I played or coached except middle school. This football memory will sit on my desk at work, proudly displayed for me to look at, smile and think about playing ball as a kid and the joy and success it has brought my life.

We all have memories stowed away and sometimes we just need that trigger to bring them back after many, many years. It made me think about practice, spending time with friends, going to McDonalds for a cheeseburger after games. It made me be thankful for all the football skills, life skills, memories and future opportunity I may pursue with the game that helped shape who I am today. Coach Greg (cousin Greg) helped shape me into the man I am today also. Thanks Greg for the football and the football memories it brought back.

Coach B!

Health: Coping Skills- 10 Life Hacks to Cope With Stress and Anxiety

We all face daily bombardments of stress in life. We have stress from relationships, family obligations, work, and other commitments. These can build up over time and eventually shut you down emotionally, physically and spiritually. We must deal with stress and anxiety on the spot so it does not build up and overcome us all at once. Some stress we bring on ourselves with worry and life goals. Other stress comes from the people we work with, live with, talk to, love and communicate with daily. They may not know they are a stressor for you unless you let them know. I tell kids at school all the time, hey do not let them stress you out. That is much easier said than done. Today I was talking with a student and he was stressed out about some family stuff so I did some research to give him some ways to try and deal with it.

Below are some life hacks for dealing with stress and anxiety that may help him and you out a little bit. It may not take it away, but it can alleviate the stress and anxiety for a little while as you seek to heal and move forward from the stressor in your life. I hope your living a stress free life and do not need any advice, but if your stressed as most working adults are with kids, jobs, family, and friends that take up most of our time each day. We can attack the stressors we are facing and slowly get rid of it one little bit at a time. Take the small wins in life and the small movement towards becoming stress and anxiety free.

1- Go for a long walk, take a run, go swimming, go biking or whatever form of exercise you like. It can help you cope and getting out in nature always helps calm your nerves.

2- Find a calming place and just chill out. Sit under a big tree, lay on the ground and stare at the stars. Climb a tree and just chill out. Go to your calming place and chill out for a couple of hours.

3- Go sit in the car and listen to your radio. Put on some upbeat music and just relax and enjoy the music coming into your ears. Sing along, dance a little and just have some fun.

4- Read a good book. Whatever genre it is you like, go get a good book or buy a cheap one at the dollar tree and read. You would be surprised how a good book can take you away for a little while.

5- Go shopping and get yourself something. Do not go crazy, but stop by the mall or your favorite store on the way home and get a little something. Maybe that good book to read.

6- Travel to another small town close to you and hang out for a day on Saturday. Shop locally, eat out and see what it has to offer. You never know, it might be your next home and you didn’t know it.

7- Get rid of negative people and situations in your life. If your in a bad relationship move on. This is hard to do but you have to so you can have good relationships going forward.

8- Call or text an old friend or college roommate. Talking to long lost friends lifts us up and gives us an opportunity to renew a relationship. Meet them in between and go out for dinner or a movie.

9- Read the bible, pray and seek Gods guidance on your stress and anxiety levels. God will always listen and be there for you. Be open to the relationship, be patient and see what happens.

10- Make a list of must do’s that are bogging you down. Take that list and look it over again to make sure nothing on their is put of “your control”. You can control you, not other people, your boss, your children, your friends, sickness, disease and other things. These are life events that you just have to attack and overcome one day at a time.

Most important thing is to do you. Get rid of the stressors and replace it with positive energy, relationships, spend time with loved ones and live your life the best you can. Handle the stress the best you can using whatever hack helps (no alcohol or drugs) and go after life.

Coach B

Motivation: 3 Keys To Success- Ability, Motivation and Attitude

As a coach I have attended many coaching clinics through the years to gain knowledge, experience and grow my skill set to help my athletes get better.  One of my favorite all time coaches and speakers is Lu Holtz who had a fabulous career coaching, speaking and as a broad caster for football games.  He was a program builder and did a super job everywhere he went.  I had the pleasure of meeting him and getting a picture with him several years ago at a football clinic in Atlanta, GA.  He is a motivational coach and person that has so much experience in life and is a winner.  The quote above hit home with me today as I was surfing the web to prepare for writing and I wanted to share it with my people.

In this quote he is talking about three things that are key to winning, overcoming, preparing and doing well in sports and life.  The first of these is Ability which is important as part of success and winning.  We all have natural God given ability and some that we have developed through the years as we practice, prepare, study, learn and work towards our goals in life.  We must take these abilities and maximize them to be the best we can. Motivation is the second part of this success formula and that comes from mostly within ourselves.  We find motivation from others around us, our coaches, teammates and friends.  But the final say on how motivated a person can be is a individual decision.

Football coaches stand before team and give a motivational fire and brim stone speech to the guys designed to fire them up and give  them confidence and motivation to play hard.  That fired up speech will last about the first 3-5 minutes of the game and then it becomes a game of will and who wants to  win more than the other.  Finding motivation when things get tough is the hard part.  Finding motivation when you are down is the hard part.  Finding a way to motivate your friends and get them fired up during battle is an art.  

Attitude determines how you will succeed in life, sports, work and play.  I was talking to my students today in class and we were discussing life skills and how attitude keeps us  going and helps define who we are and where we go in life.  The old saying is “you can either see the glass half full or half empty”.  I used a half full water bottle as the prop and we talked about that for a few minutes.  I want my students to understand that they determine their attitude and no one else.  We started class out with a simple paper that had five faces on it.  One was smiling, one frowning, one neutral, one crying and one really happy.  I told them to circle where they were at that point with attitude.  After we did the exercise and talked about it I had them repeat the activity.  

Several of them actually changed their picture from frowning or mad to a more happy face.  I suggest you print one of these off the internet and put it on your mirror or fridge so you have to decide how you will take on your day.  Will you start the day glass half full or glass half empty?  Take your ability and use it to become better.  Motivate yourself to accomplish great things and go after life with an attitude of excellence and intention.

Daily Bread: Winning In Life With God

Winning in Life and With God

Do you have a winning attitude about life? What is your definition of winning?  That all depends on your personal views, background and experience with winning and losing. As a long time career football, wrestling and softball coach I have had to look at winning from two perspectives.  One of those being actual W’s and L’s.  How is my football team competing or how are my individual wrestlers doing? Are they beating people on the field or the mat. That is a statistical way to view winning and many coaches only view it that way.  I know Hall of Fame coaches that have win totals I would love to attain.  They are well known for those stats during their career.

The other way to look at winning is “winning in life” and life after death.  As a coach it is my job to mentor my students/athletes to be active, hardworking and goal oriented adults.  Adults that learned through competition, winning and losing to overcome and push forward. I love seeing my former students go into adult life and succeed on the job, in marriage and whatever they venture into. I love to watch them reap the success of competing at a high level as a wrestler and making the state tournament or winning the ultimate prize of a state championship.  I have been fortunate to have a few of those special wrestlers and they are few and far between.

God is like a coach that pushes us, mentors us and teaches us how to be productive in life.  He especially wants us to be productive Christians that seek his guidance to live a fantastic life full of success. Living his word and seeking his guidance and coaching will allow us to get the ultimate win.  God is consistent and walks with us through life with our success.  He carries us through the losses and always thinks of us above all. How do you try to win at life and how do you want to win with God?

  1. Will you be coachable and work hard to overcome losses and gain more life wins?
  2. Will you be coachable by God and allow his spirit to guide you to afterlife success?

Proverbs 21:31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD.

Dear Lord, please come into my life and allow me to be coached by you.  Show me your wisdom, grace and mercy all the days of my life.  Show me through winning and losing that I can always look to you for motivation and consistency.  Amen

Leadership: “G” Words Alphabet Series- Great Leaders

Today I am back on my series of alphabet words that describe great leaders, coaches, motivators and people we all are attracted too for being great.  Good leaders can be great leaders if they work really hard at building their management skills and grow their employees, athletes and team members with guidance and direction. These coaches and leaders are often gleeful people that gain the attention and can make people giddy with excitement when it comes to accomplishing goals.  These bosses, coaches, business owners are gems in the rough and often shine as they sometimes have to grin and bear the brunt of organizational missteps, setbacks and failures.

They give their all to the team, staff and organization in an attempt to gain buy-in from everyone so they will generously give of their time, energy and commitment to make things happen.  Great leaders greet people and show them they care and have genuine concern for their well being.  I have worked with many coaches that just had the gusto for life, being successful and gone above and beyond to make dreams come true.  Working with gutsy people helps them accomplish goals, dreams and maintain good values as they do so.  Often being considered as gallant people by those around them, they can galvanize the organization and allow people to use their gifts to give to the overall quality of work life at the company or on the team.  

Great leaders and people are often so glittery and gleaming with positivity all the time.  This enables them to glimmer and win the glory and glamour that often comes with success.  They may be good-looking, good natured and graceful in their actions, behaviors, comments and presentation.  Great leaders can meet people in a gregarious manner and are almost guaranteed to be groovy.  Great leaders and coaches I have worked for were ground breaking and had so much more gumption and gusto than the others on staff.  They showed gratitude and gratefulness for their people and which made them a golden gem of a Godsend type of leader.  

Moral of the story is to know your “G” words, find some the apply to you and go be greatgloriousgargantuanglamourous and ever so graceful as you whip this thing called life into your version of greatness!

Coach B 

Sports: Chasing Championships- Never Let It Override Your Family Time

Coaching for a long time has shown me many things.  I have made one of the biggest mistakes many coaches make and that is losing focus of the family, spouse, kids and the most important people in your life as you pursue excellence and chasing championship rings.  I coached football for almost thirty years and in 2018 after a playoff loss I knew it was time to spend my weekday afternoons, Thursday and Friday nights with my wife and grown kids.  I did my best to manage my schedule when my girls were growing up and rarely missed the big events.  I was fortunate to coach them in softball for many seasons in community ball, travel ball and the high school level.  Coaching at the high school level requires a good 25-30 extra hours a week of time depending on the sport.  

Most days if your a teacher and football or wrestling coach run12-15 hours and that adds up quickly.  Countless days coming home at 8:00-9:00pm just in time to eat a little, spend a few minutes catching up and back to bed to recover and do it again tomorrow.  It is a passion that is not for everyone, but one that also can eat all of your time up.  I know lots of coaches that literally missed a bunch of very important events with their family and spouses due to coaching and chasing wins and rings.  With this being said I want my fellow coaches, leaders, teachers, pastors, mentors, business owners and whatever hat you wear to remember this one piece of advice from a long time coach.  The most important ring is the one your spouse is wearing. 

Let me repeat this, the most important ring you ever chased, bought, worked hard for and earned was the one your spouse is wearing.  Do not let coaching isolate your family, sons, daughters, parents and spouse. Work hard, accomplish what it is you want that day and go home.  I used to be told that I was one of the first to arrive on campus and because I coached three sports for over 13 years I was one of the last to leave.  One day I realized something had to give and it could not be my relationship with my wife and kids.  So I gave up head softball coaching, then football went in 2018 and now my only coaching job is still as a Head Wrestling Coach.  I have learned to manage the time, energy and prioritize things much better as I gained experience, got older and learned from my mistakes.  Below are some tips for balancing coaching and family.

1- Make sure family time is on your schedule.  If that means you cut short a coaches meeting or wash the dirty team laundry the next day then find a time and stick to it.  Do your best to manage family time and watch your kids grow up.

2- Set boundaries with the players, assistant coaches and parents.  Have a meeting and emphasize that players must have rides at the end of practice.  You would be surprised the extra time coaches spend sitting in the car or office waiting on a parent to pick up a kid.  That is valuable time you cannot get back so establish a procedure for this. Your already giving tons of time, so do not waste the other waiting on people that cannot get their daily routine in order.

3- Delegate Responsibility.  This is a huge one and is hard for many head coaches and athletic directors to do.  Assign duties to players and coaches to take care of things. Two things I always volunteered for over the years was washing the dirty clothes from practice and making sure the locker room was clean.  I would assign the locker room cleanup by football position and have an assistant coach watch over it daily to make sure it was done.  Being on a team is more than practicing and playing.  It is about sharing, helping and keeping everything neat, tidy and clean.  

4- Include your own kids and family as much as possible.  My kids grew up on football, softball and practice fields. They went with me to practices and games, helped out with managerial duties, kept scores, cleaned up and lots of other duties.  They learned life skills doing this and were able to spend time with the team, the coaches, made friends and great memories.

5- Prioritize your spouse over everything.  Communicate with your spouse, spend time with them, go our to eat after school or practice.  Take short weekend trips or just spend time with them chilling out.  This is the most important part of your support network.  My wife gets all the credit for putting up with my coaching and was always my #1 support system.  She was the one that I went home to when things were great, good, bad, ugly, hard, difficult and special.  

Coach B!

Health: Physical, Mental and Spiritual Impact of Tragedy

Today I am writing a brief post about one of the hardest times in my life.  I was coaching at a local high school and halfway through the season our head coach and my good friend passed away suddenly and unexpected.  This was a huge loss for his family, students, athletes and the community as a whole.  I am going to go into all the details of what happened, but instead will talk about the loss of a dear friend and coach and how the coaching staff and team responded to that loss.  Losing important people in out lives is never easy and brings a rush of emotion that we deal with for sometimes months or even years.  I was the offensive coordinator at the time so when my friend passed I was asked to continue the season as the interim head coach.  I remember the conversation with the principal when he asked me to take things and finish the season.  

I gladly took the responsibility not because it was a chance to take the program over.  It was the right thing to do in honor of my friend, players, community and school.  I went home that day and just prayed and cried about it.  This was a really bad situation and I had to find a way to step up, hide my emotions and feelings and stand tall for my players.  I sat down and came up with a plan that I wanted to use to try to manage the coming weeks activity which included a memorial service, a funeral, practice. planning, teaching, counseling crying and overcoming the fact that I was not Coach C.  My goal never was to replace such a great man, it was simply to honor him.  I will leave the football story at that and move into the emotional, physical and spiritual impact that this loss and the events that followed took on my mental, physical and spiritual help.

As you can imagine, by the end of the week I was broken in all three areas.  I was wore out, tired, emotional, couldn’t sleep and many other things that were going on.  I was trying to manage life at home, life at work, coaching, grieving and supporting the players, coaches and staff.  When tragedy strikes we often are tasked with the responsibility of stepping up and leading through these tough times.  We do not expect it or ask for it and without warning bam, we are now sitting on the toughest situation of our lives.  I have always been a person to step out front when needed and do what I can in whatever capacity.  I willingly took the responsibility with a goal of just keeping things as normal as possible as we all worked to overcome the loss of our coach and friend.

1- It is in tragedy and strife that we become our strongest.  It takes courage, strength, internal fortitude and drive to keep going when things are really bad.

2- It is in tragedy and strife that we realize just how important people were to us when we tell them goodbye one final time.

3- It is in tragedy and strife that we learn to overcome the physical, mental and spiritual beating we take by just moving forward.

4- It is in tragedy and strife that we see how pushing emotions, grief, anger, and all the other emotions to the side can build us up, but also tear us down later on.

5- It is in tragedy that we honor those we love, help their family, our community and friends out who are in need.

6- It is in tragedy that we look to our faith in God, family, friends and community to make it, to deal with it and to adapt.  We seek counsel and grow in our faith in all things good through the bad.

We all face tragedy, especially the lose of loved ones in life.  We fight the emotional, physical and spiritual burdens brought on by that.  But we also step up, rise up, battle, fight and eventually overcome all of it and live with the precious memories of our dearly departed souls we miss everyday going forward.

Coach B 

Coaching: Life Lessons Learned From Losing

Today we are talking about that word that all coaches hate to see and hear.  It begins with an “L” and ends with “ose”.  Yes the terrible word we all face in sports, life, family, business, finances and troubling times.  Losing is tough and is never a goal when preparing for a football game, wrestling match or other life activity.  We never go into something that important wanting to lose, well at least I have never went into a football game or wrestling match with a written goal as losing.  There are times when we all face losing, setbacks, unexpected events and upsets.  There are also times in life and sports when we get that upset win set the opponent back and do what we were predicted not to do.

During my coaching career I have had my fair share of winning and some losing in the mix.  I am blessed to be able to say more winning than losing.  It is in failure and lose that we face our iniquities, short comings and lack of preparation.  The true measure of someone is how we react to losing and what we do with the lessons it taught us.  It is what we do with that knowledge, experience and setback that is the measuring stick of where we are and where we are going.  Having the best game plan, best preparation, best week of practice all season and best play calling does not always mean the scoreboard will fall in your favor when the final whistle blows or bell tolls. 

Once the captains shake hands and the referee blows the whistle it is on and someone will win and the other will lose.  I have seen players, coaches, parents and spectators lose with such a bad attitude and just be a brat.  I have also seen the same people lose with dignity, with their head up and then move forward with an attitude of getting better the next event or game.  I demand my athletes win and lose with integrity, a positive attitude and be grateful for the opportunity to represent their family, community, school and teammates.  Loses whether small or large are opportunity to attack and go after a win the next time.  

1- Losing challenges our core values and beliefs.  It makes us evaluate where we are and look for wasy to get better for the next game or match.  

2- Losing shows who we really are as a person.  I have seen some of my best wrestlers just humiliate themselves, the coaches, the team and their family by acting like a spoiled brat after taking a tough lose.  Sometimes in life we start to believe our own press a little too much and when we face a setback suddenly that lose has become too much to overcome for them.  

3- Losing builds character.  As a coach my main goal is to make sure I am giving the athletes the best possible chance to be successful as an individual and team. However, making sure I teach them good character, values and how to react to things in a positive way that represents a solid attitude of good integrity and character is just as important.

4-  Losing has a bad rep in sports and life.  Some people have such high expectations that they lose sight of reality and when they lose the world is coming to an end.  Being successful at everything I do is very important to me and I write it daily.  However, I will never put my self down or down grade my ability to be successful based on a few bad loses or untimely setbacks.

5- Losing does not have to become an excuse or habit to fail.  I have seen losing take over a kids mentality.  They take some loses for various reasons, typically because they lack the strength, knowledge and experience to beat the opponent.  That is when it becomes a mental game more than physical.  They start to see failure as an option, as OK and then make excuses instead of putting in the work to overcome and get better at winning.  

Do not let losing set you back, hold you down or ruin your dreams and visions in life, work, sports and play.  Prepare for whatever it is, go after the win and if you lose take the feedback, get better, work harder, work smarter and whoop it the next time you face it.

Coach B

Leadership: “E” Words That Describe My Kind of Leader

Today I am continuing my series of blog post about the alphabet and descriptive words that define what coaches, leaders, and mentors exhibit.  I have worked with so many coaches, peers, teachers and leaders that were so encouraging to their student athletes.  These people were very energetic in their daily walk, work and focus and worked with intention.  After a long day in the classroom knowing a two hour or longer practice is coming and the day is just beginning again it is empowering to feel the energy of a peer coach running onto the field fired up and ready to get work done.  There are just some people in our lives that are essential when it comes to needing a great pick me up when we are tired and ready to take a little break.

Great leaders, coaches and mentors have the experience to help grow the team and individual talent of their players, employees and peers.  They have an amazing endurance about them that is hard to match.  The team, fans, parents and coaching staff look to them with eagerness and become engaged on the process of building a winning team or organization.  This willingness to step out and lead shows the leaders expertise in their particular field or chosen profession.  Utilizing their skills, background and knowledge of the game or industry they work in allows them to be extremely effective at what they do.

These leaders are efficient at what they do and enjoy success in work, life and play.  That success is often exalted in the media and with those that are around them.  These endearing qualities can often  overlooked by people around them if they truly do not know the heart and soul of the leader.  The best coaches I ever worked with are very ethical in how they operate and promote equality among their team, staff and players.  Great coaches and leaders take pleasure in watching their coaching staff elevate their game and careers.  Helping your people evolve into greater human beings, better coaches and masters of their destiny builds esteem and empowers people to go to greater heights and reach higher goals.

These coaches are usually not very easy-going and have high expectations about the desired goals, results and winning.  However, this attitude of winning makes being part of the organization they run full of people that are ecstaticenthusiastic, and exhilarating.   This is a silly little story about the letter “E” and I used many words that exaggerated but the main message is if you are a coach, mentor, leader or business owner then be expressive to your people, lead by example and always encourage excellence of yourself and everyone else.

Coach B