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*The musings of a high school coach/teacher at the end of the season/year. This is dedicated to all of you working thanklessly in the trenches, giving of yourselves because that is just how it is supposed to be! SportsLeader thanks you and is honored to be able to be a part of your mission.


I don't know how I'm going to be able to keep on doing this. Every year I promise myself that this year it's going to be different:

I will do a better job. 
I will be so much more organized. 
I will NOT make the same mistakes that I made last year. 
I WILL make the right calls each and every play. 
I will be able to inspire my team to be great. 
I will be a better coach.

I want to be so good for my players, for my parents, for the school. And I KNOW I can be so good. Scratch that, I KNOW I can be so GREAT!

Then, why don't I ever feel that way at the end of the season?

Instead, at the end of this year,( just like every other year!) I look at myself in the mirror and all I can muster is, "I survived." It's the same revelation over and over and over again: expectations of greatness deteriorate to being glad that I survived. My name is not in the newspaper, I'm not getting a pay raise, accolades, presents from my parents, or even a pat on the back from my boss. I'm NOT great and my team is not great…..AGAIN. Instead, I survived.

I survived. What is wrong with me? 
I survived. Will this every change? 
I survived. Why do I keep on trying to fool myself that it will ever change?

I survived….and I'm going to do this to myself, AGAIN? What is wrong with ME?

Hold on a second…. I survived? I survived? Season-ending injuries to my 6 best players… and I lament that I survived? Having no money in the budget and yet being able to provide pre-game meals, miraculously... and I lament that I survived? My son being sick for a full month of the season and I was able to hold it together... and I lament that I survived? My players AND parents not quitting on me and the team, despite a losing record... and I lament that I survived? Taking a not especially talented group of teenagers and getting them to realize they ARE special... and I lament that I survived?

WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME??!! I SURVIVED! I am a general in the front lines, in the thick of the battle and I have been able to minister to so many people and I SURVIVED! I taught people, I loved people, I battled for people, I formed people, I built something special for people; I am, in fact, an integral part of people's lives EVERYDAY, helping them so they can thrive and survive in this crazy world…and I SURVIVED!

Some say, the greatest tribute to any soldier in war, is to be able to survive, to make it, to able to live for a better tomorrow.

That is ME!, and I am helping others to do the same.

I am truly blessed! I am a soldier, I am a crusader, I am a lancer, I am a warrior, I am a champion, I am a knight, I am a veteran, I am a……...COACH/TEACHER. There is no greater honor!

Come to think about it, I can't wait for next year, it's going to be a GREAT year!

Chris Willertz 
More Than A Coach…SportsLeader!

Below is this week's BRAIN Teaser. Finish the year strong and show that you SURVIVED!

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