Category Archives: Coach King

My fellow graduates

I think I was 13th in my class, so I definitely didn’t get to speak at my school graduation.  But if I could give a speech to graduates, it might sound something like this:

Today is a day of accomplishment and achievement.  It is a reward for both you and your parents for the hours of work, the years of stress, the moments of weakness, and the time of your life.  The fact is this group that is here today is a smaller group than the one that started four years ago.  Bad decision, bad luck, moving, pregnancy, illness, and just being lazy has caused many of your childhood friends to not be here today.  But not you.

Rather than remind you and congratulate you for what you have done we should look at what you are about to accomplish.

 

Bill Gates, once graduated high school

Oprah, once graduated high school

President Obama, once graduated high school

Neal Armstong, once graduated high school

 

These are great Americans that all have this one moment in common with you.  A great moment, but not the one that defined their lives and their legacies.

Someone here today will do amazing things that will make you proud to be their classmate.  And someone else here today will be the person that you all wonder “What happened to him?”.

Some of you will get to college next year and make superior grades, some of you will struggle, and others of you will simply not be able to hack it.

Some of you will get a job or go into the military.  Some will stay home and help your parents.  Some of you will travel the world.  And some of you will simply end up being a stoner and never being heard from again.

 

Those great American’s all faced those same possibilities on this same day in their history.  So what was different?  And most importantly what will make it different for you?

There is no one magic recipe.  Hard work is a common denominator.  A little good luck is a common denominator.  I believe that a common trait with all these greats is the fact that they dream.

This is my message to you graduates today.  You must dream and dream BIG.  There will be many days that you won’t want to go to class and stay in bed.  You never sleep through your dreams.  There will be days that you fail at work or with relationships.  Your dream will still be a light in your future.  You must hold on to these dreams and chase them.

And so you understand clearly…dreams are not goals.  I believe goals are very important, but they are not the same.  Graduating high school is a goal.  Walking on the moon, now that’s a dream.  Dreams should be so big and scary that you are almost embarrassed to tell anyone your dreams.  By the sheer magnitude of those dreams you can be pulled toward greatness.

I always want you to realize that it is probably unlikely that you will ever achieve that dream, and that’s ok.  The residual effect of the years and years of dream chasing will be the fuel that powers the truly amazing impact that you will make on the people in your life.  And that, my friends, is the true secret to greatness…people.

As you go forward in life, chasing those dreams, understand that you cannot accomplish them alone; you need people and people, in turn, need you.  My challenge to you is to not make today what you are remembered for.  Dream big and dream loud.  And love the people who you encounter along the way.  That is your true legacy.  That will be your true greatness.  And that will be what you are remembered for.

 

Ciao

 

SK

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Motivated or Disgusted?

I didn’t really want to go workout yesterday.  I wanted to come home, eat, and be in bed for the night.  It had been five days since I had been to the Crossfit gym.  It is taking me about two days to recover from a workout right now.  I did have to travel with my son over the weekend to a baseball tournament, but regardless it had been a while.  One thing I like about our gym is that you have to sign up for classes in advance, so there is a level of commitment and planning.  I had signed up early Monday morning to go that evening, so I had to go or lose my money.

I’ve always looked at really active folks as being hyper-motivated.  I see people running marathons and playing sports at a high level and I just think to myself “Wow”.  I’ve always been driven in my personal and professional life.  I’ve never been able to sustain that drive for a long period with my health.  That just doesn’t make any sense!????!!!!

I probably wouldn’t have taken this mission upon myself if I hadn’t been disgusted with blowing out my favorite pair of jeans.  And maybe that’s the real answer…

I’ve always taught sales people who their number one competitor is always the status quo.  People would rather do what they know and are comfortable with than try something new, even if the benefits are there to at least try it.  As the saying goes: “The devil you know is better than the devil you don’t”.  It is easier to be fat.

Eating fast food is easy.  Sitting on your ass is easy.  Making excuses is easy.  Sneak eating chocolate in the car so your kids don’t know is easy (yes I’m talking to you).

All these things are easy.  And even though we know they may not be the best for us, we continue to do them because we know how to deal with them.  We feel the guilt of a Big-Mac for a second but we know that we can rationalize its consumption even faster.  The thought of actually walking into a gym with people who go every day is terrifying.  I don’t think the fear is that we can’t do it but more of what happens after we do it.

Something happens to us though when we get disgusted.  Folks generally don’t leave a job, bad relationship, or bad habit until they are truly sick and tired of where they are.  The fear of the unknown devil that might be sobriety or a shelter is no longer paralyzing them.  The fearing the gym may not have the same imminent intimidation that an abusive spouse does, they both do have a direct reflection on your quality of life.

I’ve battled my fair share of demons.  They are all a part of my story.  And they all were comfortable in their own way.  Changing those behaviors required me to be uncomfortable.  PEOPLE HATE BEING UNCOMFORTABLE.  The pregnant pause between a question and answer is the scariest thing in the world for people and they rush to fill the space rather than sitting in its silence and waiting for it to resolve itself.  Lifestyle changes are even scarier.  You get the uncomfortable silence of your own mind while its debating doing the right or wrong thing combined with the physical pull of your body to respond as you have taught it to.  Uncomfortable, paralyzing, and powerful…all rolled into one.

So is that step to run out the door every morning truly motivation in a tri-athlete?  Or is it possibly the fact that they were finally disgusted with the status quo battle they were fighting with the fat guy on the couch their whole life.  So when your cubemate is talking about their new successful part of their life laud them for their success, but take a second to think about how they got there and realize that the first step probably started from disgust and not motivation…just like yours will.

 

Ciao

 

SK

You gotta have heart

Max effort!  As a coach, a manager, a parent, or a partner, one of the best compliments you can get of your leadership is having your people give you maximum effort.  Some inspire us by their effort while others choose to lead with praise and others push your buttons.  Some of us are lucky to always be able to go max effort on everything (that is not me 😉 ).

Going into a sloppy mess with your friends

We opened our football season officially this weekend.  Mother nature was not really cooperating as she sent an absolute monsoon midday that for a period of an hour canceled our game do to the rain and lightning.  But the skies eventually parted and we got back on the schedule.  Because of the rain and lightning our 7:20 game didn’t start until almost 9 and the field was an absolute mud pit.

The team we played was bigger, stronger, and faster than our boys.  The previous year on opening day this same squad manhandled our boys.  What happened in the next hour was simply amazing to watch.

We started great and were up 12-0 very early and absolutely dominating on defense.  The other team was able to find a chink in our armor and climbed back into the game to make it 12-7 at halftime.  We proceeded to slug it out with the in the second half and eventually won by that same 12-7 score.  The remarkable thing about watching this game was the effort those kids gave.  They kept fighting and fighting and fighting.  And every time we needed a play it was someone different selling out and putting their 60 lb bodies on the line.  It was just amazing to see.

It got me to thinking if the team I work with has that same kind of heart.  Is everyone selling out every day to make something happen?  Now of course work is a lot different from playing a kids game.  And it is for 40 hours a week and not 3 hours on a Saturday.  But  I know that I could get a little closer to my kids effort than the effort that I give on a random Tuesday.

That's a great group of kidsSo now we are 1-0.  Now I am thinking about if I can be win tomorrow at work.  Just as a test what if I give the same effort that our QB gave last night and a test to see what it would be like if my team at work was as excited about a sale or a service call as the kids were last night for getting a first down.  It is a little naive to look at work the same way I look at a pee wee football game…or is it?

Ciao

SK

Twas the night before…

Saturday is go time for football here in the classic city.  It is opening day for the NEGYFC (lots of consonants, that’s the football league we play in).  We open our season with an all day jamboree where every team in our league is playing every age group all at one park.  It will be kids, parents, hot dogs, sweat, and grass stains as far as the eye can see.

If you haven’t been to youth football, you should check it out.  Even if you aren’t a fan of the sport it is quite entertaining to watch the younger age groups get out and play the game.  In the coaching ranks we refer to the youngest ages as “bobbleheads” because the helmet just bobbles.  Probably the most entertaining thing is to watch the moms.  As much as the dads are into the game, the moms are into “their babies” and are quick to challenge an official, a coach, a parent, and sometimes a child that may be causing harm to said baby.

My baby boy will be beginning his third year of football tomorrow.  This will be his first year in this age group.  He is yet again the youngest on the team and one of the smallest kids too.  But he is having a blast being back with these kids.  This is the same group that he had his first year and there were some amazing friendships formed.

So I’m a little nervous but so excited.  He played well last week in our practice game.  It is going to be a lot of fun.  Stay tuned for updates!!!!!!!!

Ciao

SK

Go Packers!

Black Wednesday

So I am sure it doesn’t mean much to a lot of you, but this week was black Wednesday.  This is not really an official day, but it is a garbage day for those of us that are sports fans.  There is NOTHING was going on in the sports world.  When I say nothing, I mean NOTHING.  The best I could find was the ESPY’s and some garbage WNBA basketball.  But the good thing about black Wednesday is that I know that the summer is almost over and the 2010-2011 sports calendar is on the way.  So I pulled out my whistle and started thinking about my kids…

Let's get ready to rumble!

I have the privilege of being a youth sports coach.  The first year that my son played little league I was lucky enough to get paired up with a couple of great guys and I quickly fell in love with being out there with young kids.  I really love baseball, it was my sport growing up.  I love watching him get better every year.  But it was football that really got coaching into my blood.

Seaver’s first year he was one of the young ones on the team and one of the little ones.  We had an amazing group of kids and parents that year.  And watching my baby boy grow up before my eyes was awesome.  I was able to help with practices and substitutions during games and I discovered it was almost as fulfilling watching ALL the kids get better.  Last season I was lucky enough to be the head coach for our 5 & 6 yr old team.  Those kids were awesome!

So here we are on the eve of packer football 2010.  It should be a fun year, I’ll be an assistant this year, helping with personnel, special teams, and the second teamer’s.  We should be pretty doggone good-by the end of the year, but it really isn’t about how good we are but rather how great those boys and families are.

The 3 Amigos

The two guys I’ve had the pleasure of coaching baseball with are awesome.  It is the friendship that our boys have formed that really makes these three years extra special.  One of the best things about playing team sports is the friends that the kids make.  I just couldn’t imagine what it would have been like without watching him grow up with two kids that aren’t just good ball players, but wonderful, respectful, loving boys.

So even though Wednesday was dead, it signals the beginning of what I am certain will be another great sports year.  We may win some trophies or lose them all.  But I am sure that the kids will be great, friendships will be built, and families will join together and cheer.  That’s why I love it!

Ciao

SK

I love this stuff!

What do you love?

Let’s assume the obvious.   We all love:

Family

Friends

Puppies

Vacation

Babies

and

Big Macs

Now that we have pulled back the obvious list, what’s left?

What really gets inside your heart and moves you to action?

What makes you smile?

For me, one of the things I really love is being a youth coach.  And when my son started playing sports I had no desire to coach.  I wanted to be involved.  I wanted to be at every practice but I never wanted to be the guy.  It started with helping with baseball.

I grew up playing baseball and Seaver seemed to have some natural ability in the sport and t-ball is like cat herding, you need a lot of hands to keep them under control.  Somewhere in the middle of that season, I fell in love with those kids.  I loved watching them get better, I loved being there when they did something new,  and I just loved being a big kid with them.  It was awesome.

As fun as baseball was, is, and will continue to be; for me it pails in comparison to football.

Last summer Seaver mentioned that he wanted to play football and I was concerned.  I thought he was too little and too young.  We knew he had an opportunity to play football with some of his friends and decided to give it a shot.  The first few weeks was very difficult.  But about a week before the first game, it started to get fun.  And the more fun it got for him, the more involved I became.  I never really was a formal “coach” last season, but I was at almost every practice, was on the sidelines, and got to know all those kids and watch them grow and get better.

This year I was much more involved with baseball and I have the pleasure of being the head coach for our football team this year.  And it is far from an easy task.  One parent sent me an email recently thanking me for my involvement and dedication to the kids.  As I was reading it all I could think about was, “What else would I be doing?”.  Most of my great male role models growing up were my coaches.  I am lucky that all my kids have fathers involved in their lives but I learned first hand last year how influential a coach can be on a  young child and I take that responsibility seriously.

As much as I want to win, that is not what is important.  I get the privilege of teaching these young men a great game and watching them grow up before my eyes.  They learn respect, teamwork, discipline, and how to deal with adversity.  Football teaches so many life lessons for both them and me.

Find something you love.  Coaching, needlepoint, serving the homeless, landscaping, or surfing.

Find something that lights your fire and that you can’t wait for the next time you can do it

Find something that you can tell your friends and family about and it lights you up every time you talk about it.

Find something you love and pour your heart into it.

And don’t forget when you find that something, you also need to pour that same kind of love into the list of things that we all love.

Ciao

SK