Why Do I Coach?
A few years ago a friend of mine from high school who is a successful businessman asked me why I coached. Little did he know that his simple question would relegate him to listening to me reflect on my 20 years in the coaching profession. Ultimately, it came down to a one word answer.
Do I coach because of the money I make? Curious as it may sound, my first three years in the coaching profession saw me double my salary each year. But before you start thinking I drive a Rolls Royce, I will let you in on a little secret. My first job as a college coach netted me a salary of $0, my second, $4500 and my third $9000 (and I had a Master’s Degree). How is that for making the Big Bucks?
Do I coach because of the travel and excitement of seeing new and exotic places? Only if you consider being caught in a blizzard in Wyoming, an ice storm in the North Carolina mountains and the joy of driving in rush hour traffic in New York, Washington DC and Los Angeles enjoyable.
As for the excitement of seeing new places, I think back to a question my sister asked about whether I had seen the Washington Monument and the Statue of Liberty in my travels. I had to laugh because even though I had recruited in both cities, the only places I could tell her about were the locations and looks of the high schools in DC and Brooklyn. And please don’t get me started on hotels since my bathroom looks like an advertisement for Motel 6 and the Red Roof Inn.
Do I coach because of the glamour and glitz? Sure if you consider washing uniforms, cleaning off bleachers, driving vans and eating post game meals at McDonalds as glamorous. I yearn for the day UNF hires an equipment manager (that was my job as a coach when I was there).
My reply to the question of why I was a college basketball coach is simple. RELATIONSHIPS! Having grown up the son of a high school coach I was able to see the type of relationship that my father had with his players. Thus, my desire to become a coach.
Over the years I have had the pleasure of watching young men develop not only as outstanding basketball players, but, more importantly, become successful contributors to the community as well.
As much satisfaction as I have had see them live up to their athletic potential, the greatest joy has come from watching them graduate and pursue careers in a variety of fields. It is always a thrill to get a phone call informing me of a new job or promotion. And I am sure by now most of my ex-players know that I am a soft touch when it comes to a wedding gift or birth announcement.
Now that I am no longer a college basketball coach I have channeled the same passion into business and life coaching. Afterall, being a successful coach still comes back to the RELATIONSHIPS I develop with my current players and helping them REACH THEIR GOALS.