|(me, Denish, and Mrs. Denish)|
Here in Southeast Asia, we have been busy and involved at UPH (university) every day. The person behind our schedule is Denish Tjhie. He has dealt with our schedule from arrival to departure and everything in between. And one thing I have learned here is that all schedules are written in pencil, you have to be flexible.
Denish has gone with the flow to the point that he has excelled in helping us. We have been spoiled greatly. We have had our laundry done, we have had western food to eat, he has taken us on tours all over the area, from the best to the worst conditions. Denish is never late and never loses his temper and he has many responsibilities. He lives a servant lifestyle in his job at UPH.
People like Denish, John Bradley, Jeff Schroeder, my parents and in laws and my wife Kristi and many other people that I come into contact with make me want to be a better person. They are such an encouragement in dealing with the things we do daily in our lives. They are able to make bad situations or boring mundane situations into learning experiences if you are paying attention.
What's this got to do with sports? Everything. As coaches, the best ones are servants to others. They are serving their teams, the individuals, their communities, their schools and many, many other people. They are coaching for the right purposes, they are making the lives around them better than they were.
Coaches that are servants for the self are easy to see for many people. However, fans don't always see what goes on behind the scenes are know the heart of their child's coach. As I have said before, I have learned, already, many new things I will try and try not to do if I ever am a head coach again. I want all of you who have children who play sports or even do some other extracurricular event to take time to just think about what the coach is giving up in their lives to serve.
Many coaches are away from their family and friends for many hours. They are spending time with your child when they could be spending that time with their own children. Many coaches are trying to better your child, not just as an athlete but as a person. Think about some of the people that have influenced you besides your family and it is probably a coach if you played sports. Guys like Terry Rademacher and Dennis Holt are people that I will always have a great respect for.
Those coaches and others took the time to attempt to make me a better athlete and person. When I was a kid, I probably didn't appreciate everything they did, but as I have grown older and coached myself, I see the effect even more. They made a difference in me for sure and influence the decisions I have made in my life.
My goal, I guess, is to create ripples that can help others. Before we left AIA headquarters in Xenia, Ohio, Coach Kelly Combs gave the analogy of an apple seed. You can never count how many apples will come from a single apple seed as that seed can grow into a tree which has many apples, all with seeds spreading out even further, so you can see it is limitless.
This trip has greatly reinforced that we can make a difference. Some people think that an individual cannot make a difference, I disagree. I can make a difference, right now, right here in somebody's life and that difference could spread to more people and circumstances than I could ever know. So do good and expect nothing in return for it, I have no doubt you will be repaid some day for your actions.