Letter to the editor

Coaches are here to help


After reading Logan Zrebiec’s editorial in the last issue, I felt compelled to write a response. I think Logan is an outstanding young man, but I also feel his opinion is one that is shared by a majority of society, which is “it can’t be my fault, it has to be my coach’s.” In life we tend to find other avenues for fault rather than look in the mirror. I try to live my life by the E+R=O (Event + Reaction = Outcome) mantra because the only thing I can control is my reaction. As a society we think it’s wrong for things to be tough or not successful. People will learn more from their failures than they will from their successes. In life people will have bosses they don’t enjoy working for and some they do. No matter what, all you control is yourself and your attitude.
The time I put into coaching is beyond insane, but I do it because I love what I do on the field and the impact that I have on our athletes. Multiple coaches helped shape me into the man, husband, father, teacher and coach that I am today. This sparked a fire in me to do the same and return the favor. My coaches taught me how to handle tough situations by overcoming adversity, how to be a teammate and how to give everything I can. Trust me, I’m not spending all this extra time away from my family to try and ruin an athlete’s love for the game.
In Logan’s editorial, there was a quote that stood out: “Hard work will get you on the field.” It’s tough to understand. Yes, it is true that hard work pays off most of the time, but there are instances in life when hard work isn’t going to be good enough. Unfortunately, sometimes other people will be better than you. Your coach is telling you hard work will make you better and you need to be better to play. Even if you never become good enough, you become better by working hard. This is a life skill and something that makes you a better person. Yes, it’s tough to accept, but the reality is the only thing I can control about my talent is how hard I work. I may or may not be rewarded for that, but no matter what, I gave my best, and I’ll always know that.
Logan mentioned that bad coaches have favorites. I’m here to tell you ALL coaches have favorites. They are the kids who show up every day, give a great effort and are great teammates. As coaches, we have to put forth the lineup that gives us the best chance to win. At the end of the day, we are trying to win a game, and sometimes that means my favorite player doesn’t play. That doesn’t change the relationship I have with the player, the impact I hope to have on their life or the overall impact playing the sport will have on their life.
The statistic of “75% of athletes will quit their sport by 15” is not alarming. It is life. We have a school of nearly 2,200 students and only have 11 spots on a football field, five on a basketball court, and nine on a baseball field. The numbers don’t allow for a 75% participation rate. The reality is it’s teaching students another life skill. When I graduated from college, there were almost 6,000 new teachers looking for teaching jobs in the state of Indiana. For my position, they had over 55 applicants. The principal had to pick who she thought was the best fit for SHS. Lucky for me, it was me!
Next time you want to blame the coach, maybe you should think about all that coach is doing to help shape you into the person you are becoming. In the end you can’t control how much you play or the outcome of the game, but you can control your reaction to those things. In the end no one is going to care what happened in your high school sports career, but they are going to care about how the sports shaped you into the person you are today.