Why I Coach

by Coach Czes

I am constantly reminded of how lucky I am to be a coach. Every time I see a player in the hallway, receive an e-mail or call from a former player, or get the chance to be around other coaches I am energized and grateful that this profession exists for me to be a part of. Those of you who coach at any level should be proud of what you are doing and make the most of your particular situation. It doesn’t matter if you are the head coach at a Division I basketball program or are coaching a 5-year old T-ball team, what matters is that you get a chance to make a difference in the lives of those around you. The difference you can make will be significant and permanent and will all depend on what you choose to put into it. Few professions allow you to have an impact on the lives of people who need you as much as ours does, and that goes for any coach, anywhere. It isn’t just about the game, kids who participate in athletics need coaches who care about them and are willing to take things seriously and work hard to help them get better in that sport and in life. Think about your own experiences and how much your former coaches mean to you…coaching is a great responsibility that should not be taken lightly at any level.

I had a chance at the Final Four this year to sit down with a coach who has been a role model of mine since I was in 5th grade. I’m sure he doesn’t even know the impact he has had on me, but he coached me in Tiger Pride Basketball Camp when I was in grade school, taught me about the fundamentals of playing defense when my high school basketball team attended Team Camp at Illinois State University and he was working there, and has been great to me every time I have ever been around him even though he really barely knows me outside of those few experiences. He is now an Assistant Coach at Kansas State University and still makes time for me even though I know his schedule probably doesn’t allow for it. These words don’t come close to conveying the gratitude I feel towards him, but they should be said anyway:

Thank you Coach Elgas.

Remember that there are going to be players out there who feel this way about you and you may not even know it. If you are a coach, be there for your players (past and present) and if you played for someone who has had an impact on your life, take the time to thank them!

Remember that all of the hard work you put in and time you spend away from your family is appreciated, whether it is stated or not, and is making a difference.

Remember that that there are those who will never know what it feels like to touch someone’s life, and you get a chance to do so every day.

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