30 years coaching experience/Worked Camps/Clinics on 5 Continents

Thursday, May 5, 2016

The Tension Inside

As a player in the sports I played (basketball and baseball), I never got emotional. Okay, I did when I was in the 6th grade and early in practices of my 7th grade year, but when I got older and played at a higher level, I never lost my control. Some of it is my dad and the tough lessons he taught me, but I never got so upset that I would yell or lose my cool. I wouldn't pout, I'd just play harder.

But as a coach, I can't always seem to keep myself controlled.

When I played, as soon as the jump ball went up or I threw the first pitch in a game, the tension inside of me went away. I was busy attempting to win the game. I was competing.

But as a coach, as soon as that first sports moment occurs, it doesn't seem like the tension disappears. In fact, it may get worse and the only way I can get it out is to be more emotional than I am normally. Not able to run and jump and throw and block players out, the only release I have for that tension is to move and yell. The yelling can be at my team, or it can be at the officials (I really try not to do that, my teams usually do more than enough to fail that any call or non-call can do).

Why that does is make me behave in a manner in which I rarely do in "real life"?

It makes me question if I should continue coaching at any level. I've been told that with my personality I believe that there is a way I think how things should go and if they don't, I just can't seem to handle it.

Which causes me to lose my cool.

Which causes me to act in a way I shouldn't.

Which causes me to embarrass myself or my family.

I don't know what to do, to be honest. I love sports, I love to compete and I love attempting to set a positive example, but that does not always happen.

With the birth of my children and the growth in my faith, I have improved. I do realize that there are more important things in life than sports. My children helped me to fully grasp that.

I used to put my whole identity in coaching and whether my teams won or not. My faith in Jesus Christ helped me to understand I am more than a coach who wins or loses.

But I still fail...a lot. A lot more than I want to. So much so that it does make me feel bad when I don't live up to my standard.

But I will continue to coach at some level and I will continue fighting the internal tension that seems to reside in me.

So I apologize right now to future teams I coach, future officials I will offend, future fans that I make mad, to my own children and my wife and family because I will continue to not live up to the standard that I have for myself.

But I'm gonna keep trying.