Coach

Coach: (n) a person who teaches and trains the members of a sports team

The same tenacity and grit which is necessary to make one successful can just as easily be used to commence a life of crime.

This is the difficulty the adults in our lives face when they train us, and of course, coach us.

They certainly know that initiative, spunk and creativity are essential for forming the building blocks of a prosperous lifestyle. Yet in the moment, these particular attributes, especially when spoken from the nasally nastiness of adolescence, can be obnoxious.

So our instructors often have to find out whether our conduct, being sweet and kind, is a foretelling of goodness or brain death–and if our unwanted opinions prophesy greatness or the possibility of time spent “upstate.”

Let me give you an example.

During a football game, when we were losing 48 to nothing, I ran to the sideline and said the following to my coach: “Come on, coach! This defense you put together for us is just not working!”

I was fourteen at the time, and he was probably in his mid-twenties, trying desperately to survive the humiliation of being drummed by his rival on this field of debauchery.

I noticed that my coach’s face began to twitch. His eyes expanded. The veins in his head popped out, and his countenance became crimson as he slowly said, “Please sit down. Our defense is fine.”

I noticed that he avoided me for the rest of the game, as I avoided many tackles.

Fortunately, he did not personally address my inadequacies and focus on them because of my snippy, snarky comment. He restrained himself, and therefore, I believe I grew up using my precocious nature for good instead of joining forces with the villains to destroy Batman.

It’s not easy being a coach. You don’t always win, but end up stuck with your team, no matter what the score. You can’t blame them or you look like an idiot. You can’t accuse the referees or you appear to be a sore loser.

All you can do is teach what you know, and hope, by the grace of God, it’s enough.

 

 

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Bellicose

Bellicose: (adj) demonstrating aggression and willingness to fight.

Dictionary B

I have seen this word in print a couple of times and had a general idea of what it meant, but am sitting here amazed at how well it describes our present social and political climate.

Somewhere along the line, we have allowed our pundits to convince us that people with a bellicose nature–a pushy, bullying, “picking-a-fight” profile–are the dominant voices, and that those who decide not to participate in such outlandish behavior are relegated to obscurity.

It is remarkable that we simultaneously have programs against bullying in our schools, while tolerating a bellicose attitude in our politicians and leaders.

Which one is it?

Is bullying really the ultimate costume, designed for the weak loser?

Or is bullying the necessary campaign used by those trying to achieve their purposes in order to win the day?

Of all the sins of mankind, the most heinous is hypocrisy.

I, for one, am tired of teaching my small children to be ladies and gentlemen … so they can grow up to be aggressive, adult sons-of-a bitches.

 

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Badly

Badly: (adv) in an unsatisfactory, inadequate or unsuccessful wayDictionary B

As a young man, I recall walking off a football field, having just been trounced by our opponent, 64-nothing. Even though I was fully aware that the idea was totally mythical, I still yearned for the earth to open up and swallow me.

The following Monday at football practice, the coach came in with a smile and said, “I’ve been thinking about Saturday’s game, and truthfully, boys, you didn’t do that badly.”

He then began to recite four or five general areas wherein we had stumbled along, culminating with the idea, “Well, at least no one got hurt.”

I know he meant well, but it was the worst thing he could have done. Because the word “badly” is good if it’s used by itself to connote that we’re fully aware that what just transpired should be taken out behind the barn and shot.

When you add onto it “not too…” it transforms it into a horrible excuse for an excuse.

Which, by the way, is inexcusable.

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Adequate

Words from Dic(tionary)

Adequate: (adj.) satisfactory or acceptable in quality or quantity.dictionary with letter A

 Five steps to building a loser (for after all, they ARE manufactured, not born):

  1. Teach him or her that they were born special and unique. (For if you’re going to fail and not measure up to the standards set around you, you need to be able to forgive it by mentioning your individual genetic configuration.)
  2. Tell him or her that all they have to do is their best. (Being human, our best is eventually defined as the amount of energy we are willing to expend at any moment on any situation.)
  3. You should also tell them that they deserve praise for just trying. (Addicting people to praise is leaving them to believe that they’re going to be able to acquire the drug on the street. They won’t.)
  4. Let them know that excuses are the same as apologies. (Can we make this clear? An excuse is the opposite of an apology. An excuse is asking someone to understand why it was completely impossible for you to achieve the goal. An apology is an admission that the goal needed to be achieved, and unfortunately, you fell short.)
  5.  And finally, communicate to him or her that everyone wins. (Matter of fact, print certificates of participation, place gold stars on their sheet or make sure the pizza party planned for the winners is diluted by including everyone who lost.)

We live in a world where we honor people who train, excel, pursue and win the prize.  There is usually only one.

Contrary to Mr. Webster (or Ms., so as not to be sexist) adequate is not satisfying. Adequate is also not acceptable.

Adequate is when people inform us that they don’t believe we can do better. It is why we will not put up with an adequate doctor, an adequate plumber or even an adequate person washing our car.

What we expect from others we need to apply to ourselves. Since we know there is no reward for the first mile and blessing only in the second mile, how could we ever think we should be applauded … at the half-mile mark?