(Short Excerpt from Creating a Season to Remember)
(In memory of Coach Johnny Reagan, who passed away this week)
You don’t have to change your personality to be an inspiration to others, just know that with a word or look at the appropriate time, coaches can change lives, often without even realizing it. Make sure those words and looks inspire and do not degrade.
Besides my parents, wife, and kids, the biggest influences in my life were 3 of my sports coaches. They were incredible role models for me. Each of them came along at different points in my career.
In high school, Coach Gordie Gillespie was there, in college, Coach Johnny Reagan, and in professional baseball, Coach Del Crandall. Each shaped my life for the better, and none did it with earth-shaking actions, but rather in simple ways.
The first thing that comes to mind about these men is they all had the same way of inspiring – with just a look. They looked me in the eyes, and their eyes shouted, “I believe in you.” To know and feel that someone believes in you as an athlete and as a person is a powerful experience. “The look” you give an athlete can be the best form of motivation possible.
Each of my mentors had different coaching personalities. Coach Gillespie was boisterous and made players believe they could move mountains. Coach Reagan was calm, but even with his quiet dignity, team members were aware of what he expected. Coach Crandall’s personality was between the two, easy-going and fiery, depending on the situation.
You can be yourself and be a positive role model, too.