This drawing probably sums up many of the emotions a coach or player has experienced that has ever competed between the lines on a court of competition. Over the course of the next few days, TCC would like to dwell on thoughts and individual moments that people have experienced when it comes to failing at some point in their lives. It is our goal to inspire the readers of this blog to evaluate how they handle these difficult times in their lives and help bring about change that assists them in fulfilling the destiny God has for them. There is no other experience in life that paralyzes us as coaches or as players more than failng or the fear of failing. Everyone goes through this and every coach has experienced a situation in which a team member has posed like this drawing portrays. Sometimes our best does not bring a “W” in the “W-L” stats. The best coaching that one will ever do is during these moments. This is exactly why The Coaches Channel exists: to encourage coaches and to help build character in their coaching staff and team members. Success only comes when we “get back up and dust off our britches” because, ultimately, failure will propel you to success. Others have experienced these moments so let’s remember to encourage each other in moving toward success through our failures. Take a minute to click on this link below and see some examples of this truth.
With just days till the 2010 Superbowl in Miami, the greatest competition may not be on the field but off the field. With much talk about the possible forthcoming Superbowl ad highlighting the story of Pam Tebow (Tim’s mother) and her decision not ot have an abortion versus having the child, TCC checked into her story and found some amazing character issues and core values at work.
Pam Tebow was serving with her husband, Bob, as a missionary to the Phillipines back in 1986. Somehow, she contracted a disease called amoebic dysentery. This disease is usually caused by the intake of contaminated food or drink. This caused her to fall into a coma for a time. As she was being treated with strong antibiotics, doctors discovered she was pregnant. “[My husband] prayed for a son: Timothy. He came home and asked everyone to pray. Everyone prayed except me, because I already had four sons,” Pam Tebow jokingly shared at a recent gathering back in May of 2009. Once she found out she was pregnant, her doctor said that a healthy birth was nearly impossible. The doctors “didn’t think of it as a life; they thought of it as a mass of fetal tissue,” Pam said. They urged her to abort the baby, explaining that the strong medicines had caused irreversible damage. During this time, Pam nearly lost their baby four times but refused to consider the abortion. She recalled making a pledge to God and siding with her husband, ”If you will give us a son, we’ll name him ‘Timothy,’ and we’ll make him a preacher.” Even though the ad has not been shown as of the date of this posting, Tim is “preaching” today in doing this ad with his mother.
As a coach your character comes out of what you have been taught as well as what you have experienced. TCC believes that Tim Tebow’s mother may be one of the greatest coaches of all time. She stated that, in homeschooling her children, one of her greatest goals in teaching them was to prepare them for handling disappointments. This is a definite goal of any coach. If your players can handle this issue, you have succeeded.
Tim also shares that he has been taught to lead with encouragement and not criticism. With all the furor and arguing over this one possible ad in the 2010 Superbowl, we are confronted not so much about what we believe about the abortion issue but as to what decision we will make in difficult times. It must be based upon what we believe even when we are deeply criticized for it. Character matters! Just ask Pam Tebow!
From the New York Times this last weekend:
“Ryan turned one of the N.F.L.’s most clandestine operations into an open book. The Jets collapsed at the end of 2008 in part because of the tense atmosphere. Ryan changed that, changed a culture, changed the way people felt about coming to work.”
This comment from a media source caught our attention in that the last part of it is what every coach would love to see happen on their team. When your players want to come to practice, 2-a-days, the games, the meetings, the PR functions, the press conferences, etc., that says something. It does not matter what level you coach at. When your team “wants to come to work” it says something about you as a leader. To motivate people to follow a vision takes those individuals buying into what one believes in and as a coach, inspiring a team has to start in your heart and then be transferred to your players. To play as a team requires a total collective buyout and not just a few team members. One of Rex Ryan’s former players, Ray Lewis of the Baltimore Ravens was quoted as saying that Rex had the heart of a father. Your leadership as a coach has to begin with caring more about the player than the plays he makes. Otherwise you prostitue the player and he becomes just an object to your own selfish motives. When you care about someone, then you can lead them somewhere.
A coach’s schedule is so demanding that priorities must dictate how that individual uses his or her time to meet all the demands of life. In trying to become more informed about the 2010 NFL final four football coaches, we read about Coach Jim Caldwell, and realized that he is a man who cares about people. He is known to talk to everyone in the locker room about everything from physical ailments to family details. When a coach takes time to talk to every person associated with that team, you might wonder if they will be a winning coach. The proof is in the pudding with the Indy Colts this year under Caldwell’s leadership. He also is quite a reader and constantly seeking to draw on the wisdom of others. Books are a mainstay of the content in his office. Reading about sleep habits, jet lag, and how probability theory affects one’s life are just some of the areas that Caldwell desires knowledge about. One of the main things that caught our attention though was that Jim Caldwell reads his Bible first thing when he arrives at the office every morning between 5 and 6 am. This truly tells us that his priorities are in proper order. A coach who begins his day like this with a demanding schedule that comes with being in this profession has disciplined his or her life to be a person of character. That may explain why resting players for the playoffs and seeking a berth in the Superbowl were bigger issues than having a chance at a perfect season. Criticism reigned down on him for making that decision but truly he was sticking with his plan for the bigger picture. Coach Caldwell’s example to us should cause us to evaluate our priorities for every day and set out to change our personal lives in order to be successful as an individual of character.
When a coach retires, people who have been influenced by him or her share how that individual helped to shape their lives. TCC has reflected recently upon the career of Coach Bobby Bowden as he stepped down as head coach of the Florida State Seminoles. Our attention was directed to a statement that he made in an interview recently when Coach Bowden said that he wanted to be remembered as a man who “did it the right way”. A former player on one of his FSU teams, Derrick Brooks said, “His longevity speaks for itself. Coaching generations of players from grandfathers to fathers to sons. A lot of people don’t get the chance to do that. When you start to think about Coach Bowden that way, you really appreciate his greatness. … When you look at Coach Bowden, you see integrity, a winning tradition and a coach who did it the right way. With everything that’s going on in college football now, you’re going to miss that consistency.” What a compliment!!! His W-L record is not what was touted but his integrity. That is what the coaching realm is all about. Are you able to leave your career as a coach with former players speaking of you like Brooks, a Tampa Bay Bucs star speaks of Coach Bowden? In order to win 388 games and last 43 years as a coach, your life has to have things set in order. The Fellowship of Christian athletes has even named an annual national award after him. The National Bobby Bowden Award, which honors one college football player for their achievements on the field, in the classroom and for his conduct as a “faith model” in the community is a signature of what Coach Bowden believed in. Nominees must have a 3.0 GPA or better and must also have the backing of his school’s athletic cirector and head football coach. The award is presented each year prior to the Bowl Championship Series” national title game and from all that has been written about him, those qualitities were ones that he desired for his players. The following remark sums up the order of priorities his life has taken over the years. After Coach Bowden had fielded many questions at his last press conference after the 2010 Gator Bowl game, Ann Bowden, wife of Bobby Bowden of 60 years, walked up to him and said: “Time to go home, honey.” She gave him a kiss and hug and the crowd applauded. In walking away from this position as a coach, TCC also applauds a man who has set the bar very high for the rest of those who aspire to be a great coach.
Per a report from The Associated Press, Jose Offerman, manager of the Licey Tigers, was banned for life from the Dominican Winter Baseball League today after striking an umpre with his fist. This incident was the second one in which Offerman has “attacked” someone on the baseball field. He has been an all-star player in MLB so he has plenty of experience between the lines. TCC supports the President of the Dominican League, Leonardo Matos Berrido, for taking this action because as a coach your actions set an example for all who participate and also for those who sit in the stands. A new approach to coaching must be adopted where we recognize the responsibility of leading a team and commit to be coaches of character as well as wins. We salute The Domincan League and hope that professional baseball will follow suite in their realms of discipline.
“Failure will run you towards excellence”