Letter from a former player
In the first game I ever won as a football coach, I had a five year old running back, Ethan, who ran the wrong way and scored 2 points for the other team. I was running with him down the field pointing and screaming to go the other way. Parents were yelling at him to turn the other way. He had a big smile on his face as he crossed the goal line into the wrong end zone and I have had a few laughs about that over the years and since we won 26-2, I forgave him.
About five years later, I got blindside attacked by a giant bear hug in a Walmart. Ethan about knocked me down yelling coach!!! Then I got to coach this kid again in middle school, but I was the offensive and defensive line coach and he was in one of the little guy groups so I didn't coach him directly.
I have commented back and forth on Facebook with him but have not seen him since he was in middle school. Then today, I saw that his mom had posted a picture of a letter from him and he is currently in Marine Corps boot camp. I got his address and am going to get him a letter in the mail tomorrow cause I know how great it is to get letters in boot camp. Anyway, thinking about this little scrapper who wasn't very good at football but was a good kid has given me a little case of the warm fuzzies and that don't happen often.
PS Don't get wrapped up in Xs and Os and forget that the most important part of coaching is to have a positive impact on a kid's life.
Great story, coach! I was that kid; only it was in basketball. I stole the ball at the beginning of 3rd quarter, went the wrong direction and scored 2pts for the other team. Everybody in the gym was laughing at me. My coach told me it was alright. Just keep playing hard. We still won the game. To this day I still don't know my coach's name. No kidding. He always wore the same T-shirt to practice. It said 'Rugby' and had a rugby ball on it. So, I started calling him Coach Rugby because I thought it was his name. I was around 8yrs old. I didn't know that rugby was a sport and I thought it was a football on his shirt. He had a buddy named Mike. The whole team started calling him Coach Rugby. Mike didn't want to be called Coach Mike. He insisted that we just called him Mike. One day I asked coach his real name was when I found out that his name wasn't Rugby. He thought about it and said, "You know... I like Coach Rugby. Just keep calling me that." Even his buddy Mike never told us Coach Rugby's real name.
We place 3rd that season. We came within a whisker of placing 2nd and playing for the Championship. His job called him away right after the season. I remember almost coming to tears when I found out that he and Mike wouldn't be around to coach us ever again. I'll never forget him and Mike.
“It is easier to build strong children than to repair broken men. ” ― Frederick Douglass
That's a great story story too. Thanks for sharing.
I have been called a rugby coach by opposing coaches but it was because we were running wedge down their throat. 😉