Coach of the Year
In my area (Philadelphia), high school playoffs have begun so for most teams, their seasons are either over or soon will be. In my local and regional newspapers, all-league selections are starting to appear from the various public and private leagues. Soon, various Coach of the Year awards will be handed out as well.
During my high school coaching career, I have won three Coach of the Year honors from my local and regional newspapers. I’m not sure I actually deserved any of them. That’s because the three years I won the award were probably among the three least stressful seasons I had. Coaching talented players who know how to play the game and understand the importance of work ethic and team unity makes a coach’s job light years easier. Coaching is never easy but having a strong group of players to work with certainly lightens the load. Looking back, my three Coach of the Year awards were after very strong finishes by teams that were a dream to coach. Basically, I just let them play. Not much coaching was necessary.
My heart goes out to those coaches who, for a variety of reasons (lack of support from administrators, parent problems, low enrollment, low budgets, etc., etc.) fail to finish at the top of their leagues most of the time. Often it’s these coaches that put in the long hours and deal with these additional stressors and do not get the recognition they deserve.
Like it or not, our culture celebrates #1. #2 and #3 and everyone after that are forgotten rather quickly. That certainly does push people to better themselves but it too often overlooks the great work done by those who did not get to #1.
So, for my 2014 Coach of the Year award, I’m giving it to all those forgotten coaches who continue to do great work even when everyone else is focused on #1.
Tomorrow’s post: Assessing a rough season