On The Fence
Bobby Leach "The Rooster" | 11/5/2014, 6 p.m.
For many of our area schools, the fall season is quickly been reduced to memory and while there are a few teams still in the hunt for a state title, most have already turned their gear in and have assimilated back into the halls of their schools and student population. At this point the season has finished or has it?
For coaching staffs of the multiple sport teams that have stored their gear away to be restored next season, the end of the season is hardly the end of work to get done in preparation of the coming year. Many coaches begin planning, reviewing game film and setting up off season training regiments for their underclassmen usually within days of their final loss. It is a long and often lonely road for a coach watching the post season play from the stands but also a self motivating exercise that offers hope to even the darkest situations.
The bottom line is, coaches work hard year round but nonetheless are often are the target for criticism regardless of where their teams fall short of a championship which is entirely unfair. Honestly if players put as much into preparation as coaches do year in and year out, the results would speak for themselves.
The season may be over for 70% of the games participants but it is hardly over for those who will pick up the pieces and forge on in the coming year. I can recall the last thing I ever said to my high school football coach when I walked away from the game for the last time and despite the decades that have passed, I am thankful I was encouraged by my parents to make sure I acknowledged the effort and interest my coach took in me personally while in school.
If I can offer any advice, and I recently made sure I did this only a week ago when my daughter ended her varsity volleyball career with a playoff loss, take 5 minutes to say thank you to the coaching staff. It doesn't take a special greeting card or a gift card to a favorite restaurant to get the message across although I am sure they wouldn't mind it at all!
Offering sincere gratitude is often the greatest gift you can give back to a coach who gave their best in hopes that the athlete would do the same. Scoreboards, echoing cheers from a home stand or the sound of a marching band belting out the school fight song seemingly fade as quickly as a winter sunset but the respect and admiration between an athlete and coach will last a millennium. Two words from the heart is worth more to a coach than a hundred shiny trophies.