Once again I was reminded this weekend what a positive difference a good coach can make in the attitudes and actions of their players. Had the privilege of refereeing three youth Maryland State Cup soccer games over the weekend, and there were six coaches who were there instructing and encouraging their players throughout the match. These coaches set the positive example, and their good work shows in the positive behavior of their players and their parents. So, to all those coaches, a big thank you!
Later in the weekend, I started to hark back to my favorite coaches. The first one would be my Dad. I’ll save writing about Dad for another day – so many things I want to write about him.
The other two coaches that quickly come to mind are Mr. Weiland and Mr. Connor. Mr. Weiland was my first coach outside of my family – he coached, refereed, and ran the soccer and basketball programs at Sussex Elementary. He went out of his way to find innovative ways to teach us the game. Most importantly, Mr. Weiland found a way to praise ALL of his players, no matter what their skill level.
Mr. Connor coached soccer, and ran the street hockey league at Sussex. He used his own funds to purchase equipment so we all could play. He organized hockey field trips to Hersheypark Arena, the Cap Center, and the Baltimore Civic Center. Mr. Connor’s passion and knowledge of hockey was passed onto all of us who played.
Another one who comes to mind was Mr. Bennett. He coached the 14-16 Essex American Legion baseball team. To sum it up, he made playing baseball extra fun. Because of his leadership, we learned more ways to have fun. When combined with the cast of characters that were on our team and the parents who faithfully supported us, that summer turned out to be the most fun I ever had playing organized baseball.
I’ve had my say – now it’s your turn – who are your favorite coaches?