Monday Mania: Am I In the Arena?

Our school district's theme this year is Daring Greatly from Theodore Roosevelt's speech. It's a wonderful speech, and my favorite part is how the credit should go to the person in the arena. A few things have happened lately that have made me question my attitude. My prayer for myself is that I'm the person in the arena as an SLP. And if I'm not in the arena, like when I'm a band parent or football fan, that I'm giving credit to those who are.
Through mutual friends, I saw this post from Jeremy Engelke, a coach in our area. He makes a good point about coaches, but I think some words could be substituted to fit SLPs, teachers and librarians, basically anyone in public education. Here are Jeremy's thoughts:


Until you've coached for a living and have watched hours of film, or opened the weight room on a summer morning, or pulled money out of your own pocket to feed a kid, or spent a night in an emergency room with an injured kid because his/her parents were out of town, or stood there in an operating room watching one of your players having an ACL repair, or agonized every single decision you made the entire week in preparation for a game you just lost by 1 point/run/goal then you don't know what it's like.

So think twice before you have a knee-jerk reaction to a win or a loss. Especially before you go onto a public forum like Facebook and call for someone’s job. Those men and women have families that see stuff like that. They have kids that go to the same elementary schools that yours do and the children of these coaches have to listen to their classmates repeat the ignorant stuff that their parents say at home about how much of an idiot the Coach is.

If you have a child on the team and you have a concern-voice it. If you approach a coach with a rational concern, it will be addressed or explained. You have the right to question the treatment of your child, but you do not have the right to question playing time, or team strategy. Ask questions like, “What does my son/daughter need to improve upon in order to help the team and earn more playing time?”

Another thing, listen to your child vent about their coach. Then follow it up with, “Have you talked to Coach ___ about this?” or “Why do you think you’re better than ________?” If a kid asks a question, he/she will get an answer. It might not be what they want to hear, but they will get an answer.

Everyone has the right to their own opinions and that’s fine. I have had the opportunity to be a part of athletic programs from 2A Marion High School all the way to Division I programs at Baylor and Texas State, heck, even spent the summer with the U15 & U17 National Football teams two summers ago. In all that time, I have only come across one coach that honestly couldn’t care less if his kids won or lost. One out of about 175-200 different coaches, trainers, team doctors, and equipment managers.

The people that do this job for a living care about kids. They work hard to put them in the best positions to be successful on and off the field/court/course. Before you call for their job…answer this question: Do you do as much for the kids in your community (wherever it is) than that man or woman does? Athletics is about so much more than wins and losses-it is about character development, dealing with pressure and adversity, and other life skills that can’t be taught/acquired anywhere else.

The funny thing is that they don’t let the Facebook posts and Tweets bother them, because they don’t work hard for the parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, and anyone else living vicariously through high school and junior high kids…they do it for the kids. They work 80-90+ hours a week for your kid. Hoping that the hours they spend away from their own families are helping to make YOUR kid a better part of YOUR family.

I have seen enough in the last few weeks from people that are calling for this man’s job or anyone else’s to last me a lifetime.

Thought I would tag some coaching friends of mine that deserve some recognition. These folks work hard and do things the right way. If you have something negative to say about any of them do it somewhere else because you won’t like the response you get from me. I promise.


It's hard sometimes, but keep the focus on the kids, and keep daring greatly!

your photo name

No comments

Back to Top